Thursday, 19 September 2019 12:05 GMT

How Bitcoin and Blockchain are Impacting the Middle East



The Middle East is often portrayed by foreign media -- especially U.S. based media -- as a place of war, refugees, and general poverty. 

However, though there exist hotbeds of unrest -- the majority of the Middle East is quite advanced and technologically driven. A case-in-point is just how widespread blockchain adoption is as well as the positive impact of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

In this article, I take a closer look at how the Middle East is being impacted by this new asset class and its underlying technology. We’ll also see why the Middle East, in fact, surpassed the U.S. and many other Western countries in terms of using blockchain tech.

The UAE Case

The UAE government elected to focus specifically on promoting the use, study, and investment in cryptocurrencies and their technologies. 

Bloomberg confirms this analysis by saying: “The U.A.E. has been at the forefront of adopting crypto: Along with Saudi Arabia, it’s experimenting with a virtual currency for banks. Abu Dhabi Global Market, a financial hub created to help the U.A.E. diversify its economy, in June 2018 put in place a framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities.”

Such progressive movement by ruling authorities is a fundamental seed from which new blockchain tech firms can grow. No wonder that the same Bloomberg article went on to state that: “Sales in U.A.E. amassed more than $210 million to take the crown from the market’s longtime leader, the U.S., which tumbled from first place for 2018 to seventh in recent months.”

The numbers don’t lie. And if these numbers are any indication, we may see the Middle East as leading the crypto adoption and blockchain technology innovation throughout Asia. Especially if China and India continue their oppressive stance against crypto assets and even the technology itself. 

Notable Use Cases of Crypto in the Middle East

Here are just a few uses cases that demonstrate the current impact of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the middle east.

  1. ADNOC

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the UAE’s largest oil firm, partnered with IBM. Together they will crease a blockchain-based automated system. This system will monitor financial values tied to each transaction taking place between its operating members. IBM will use its Hyperledger and IBM’s native Cloud computing technology to make this happen.

  1. S&P Global Platts

Known worldwide for its energy and commodities information systems, S&P Global Platts is creating a blockchain network. This network will permit market participants to provide the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) with inventory oil storage reports on a per-week basis. This is big partnership news since FOIZ is the Middle East’s biggest commercial storage region for refined oil products.

  1. NBAD

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), encouraged by government regulations, signed an agreement with Ripple. This agreement will help NBAD use Ripple’s various blockchain technology solutions to streamline its monetary transactions and thus make international payments cheaper and faster for all its customers.

These are just a few notable examples, there are many more. 

Such deep innovations and motivating government legislatures prove to us that the Middle East is a region we should not ignore. Either as investors looking for ways to diversify our portfolios or as crypto enthusiasts looking for positive news in the world -- this information is sure to provide us with an insight into the future of cryptocurrencies. 

And for those who are still wondering, after all this evidence, how to take part in this global financial movement, I encourage reading this article from CryptoManiaks to find out whether or not Bitcoin is a good investment for you.  

After all, with all these incredibly intelligent firms exploring and using blockchain, bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies -- we must make sure we’re not left behind like China or India.


How Bitcoin and Blockchain are Impacting the Middle East

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