The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) held the second annual World Blockchain Forum along with Keynote conferences on Monday, March 6, 2017, at Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, attracting scores of high-profile speakers.
The Forum is carefully curated to explore next-level, actionable technology pertaining to digital finance and transactions. It covers a wide array of topics, such as Blockchain, Bitcoin, investment, regulation, startups, the Internet of Things (IoT), and growth hacking, among others.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq, Acting CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation, said: “Although only in its second edition, the Forum featured world-class experts, professionals and academics to explore the potential of Blockchain technology, which, in turn, serves to realize the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to place Dubai 10 years ahead of other cities.”
H.E. bin Touq added: “The UAE – and Dubai, in particular – is leading the global charge to make the future a reality today, setting ambitious, forward-thinking plans to implement the technologies of the future now and to use them to the benefit of mankind. Hosting the Keynote World Blockchain Forum serves to secure Dubai’s lead in this field, cementing its position as an epicenter for the future industry and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The Keynote Forum serves to advance Dubai’s plans to implement steps and strategies to utilize fourth-industrial-revolution technologies – including Blockchain. In October of 2016, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, launched the Dubai Blockchain Strategy. The strategy is set to make the Government of Dubai the first in the world to conduct the entirety of its transactions using Blockchain by 2020.
H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government Establishment, said: “Dubai is a very ambitious city that accepts to be none but number one in all sectors. We seek to achieve this goal by using the best technological means available. As the Blockchain technology is a secure computing network known for its reliability, consistency and transparency and is used for recording, tracking and implementing the transactions related to all types of assets, we are working to make Dubai the destination for Blockchain innovation, making Dubai the global capital of Blockchain that will reflect on the fulfillment of Smart Dubai’s vision of making Dubai the happiest city on earth.”
Lootah went on to say: “Dubai’s Blockchain strategy is built on three pillars: government efficiency, industry creation and international leadership. We are currently working on implementing these pillars for Dubai to be a global standard for measuring the uses of this technology. We also seek to ensure a 100 per cent government engagement in the Blockchain uses by 2020 and to support the industry based on this technology.”
Moe Levin, Founder of the World Blockchain Forum and member of the Global Blockchain Council said, “The UAE plays a lead role in fostering innovation, and encouraging new processes and methods to build smarter cities; I believe the UAE will set the stage for Blockchain/FinTech adoption across the region. It represents a massive value add for companies on the Arabian Peninsula and across the Middle East, with a multi-billion-dollar new industry evolving over the next year or so alone.”
Additionally, Moe commented “The UAE is host to myriad incredible global businesses from remittances to insurance, financial investment advisories, and online trading. Many of these players will have to adapt at some point, and rather than wait for these changes to become mandatory or be forced to change, businesses and organizations have the opportunity to be proactive and create differentiation for themselves, if they commit to studying and investing in these new technologies now.”
With a host of critical topics on the agenda, the Forum features top-tier, highly knowledgeable financial and Blockchain experts and professionals from the UAE, the wider region, and from all around the world.
Following welcome remarks by Moe Levin, CEO of Keynote Events, Dubai Smart Government CEO Wesam Lootah delivered the event’s opening speech. Then, Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, CEO of Strategic Affairs at the Department of Economic Development, discussed what it takes to build an innovation economy and how to go about achieving that. Dr Noah Raford, COO of the Dubai Future Foundation, followed, heading a session titled “The Key Is Implementation”.
Other high-profile speakers took part in the Keynote 2017 World Blockchain Conference, namely, Osman Sultan, CEO at du; Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament; Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain.com; Esteban Van Goor, Tax Lawyer at Baker & McKenzie; and Jason King, Founder of Unsung; Coindesk Editor Peter Rizzo; Marco Streng, CEO of Genesis Mining; Ola Doudin, CEO at BitOasis, and Fares Ghandour, Partner at Wamda Capital; Bruce Fenton, President at Atlantic Financial.