(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Blockchain has grown in popularity and attention over the past few years, offering a decentralised and distributed digital ledger that records transactions in a secure and transparent manner. The technology has a range of applications across various industries, including finance, healthcare, logistics, and more. As such, countries around the world, including Qatar, are exploring the potential of blockchain technology.
The College of Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), as well as the College of Engineering at Qatar University (QU), and the Communications and Regulatory Authority jointly developed the National Blockchain Blueprint, aimed at defining the requirements and incentives necessary for the adoption of blockchain technology in Qatar. The blueprint has several goals, including facilitating the emergence of startups and new companies, identifying successful methods through pilot projects, promoting creativity and innovation, and upgrading infrastructure to enable a conducive environment for blockchain technology.
One of the key recommendations of the blueprint is to encourage the development of pilot projects in priority sectors such as Fintech, Energy, and Health. As blockchain technology is still relatively new and experimental, it is essential to test its feasibility, identify technical problems and investigate potential solutions, and determine the costs associated with switching to a blockchain-based solution. Pilot projects provide opportunities to achieve these goals while also validating the benefits of switching from a centralised to a decentralised solution.
Another way to boost the adoption of blockchain technology is to provide an adequate incubation environment for promising blockchain startups. Qatar has made significant efforts to create a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem by establishing important institutions and organisations to help entrepreneurs, including the Qatar Development Bank (QDB), Center for Entrepreneurship (Qatar University), Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), Digital Incubation Center (DIC), Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), and Qatar Foundation (QF). These organisations offer resources and support for entrepreneurs to develop and launch their business ideas. A recommendation is to create a new consortium-based funding organisation that involves all stakeholders to promote blockchain-based startups and businesses.
In addition to supporting startups, the blueprint aims to promote creativity and innovation in this field by proposing upgrades to the country's infrastructure, the importing of specialised expertise and competencies, and the inclusion of emerging technologies in the national education system's curricula.
Qatar is already poised to become a hub for advanced research, including in the fields of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. The country has invested heavily in advanced information and communication technology infrastructure and supported the opening of a regional data centre that provides public cloud services.
To facilitate the deployment and testing of new blockchain applications, one consideration could be hosting a high-performance cloud-based blockchain platform to accelerate prototyping and testing. Another recommendation is to create a physically distributed blockchain network among different institutions, including ministries and universities, which can serve as a testbed that can also host actual blockchain applications. By having a distributed network, blockchain-based solutions can be tested in a real-world environment, and the risks and potential opportunities can be identified.
The National Blockchain Blueprint can aid in the development of an innovative IT industry within Qatar. By following its recommendations, the country can promote the adoption of blockchain technology in priority sectors, create a conducive environment for blockchain startups and businesses, and upgrade infrastructure to facilitate the deployment and testing of new blockchain applications. Ultimately, this can lead to a range of benefits for the Qatari economy, including increased efficiency, transparency, and security.
l Dr Mohamed Abdallah and
Dr Aiman Erbad, Associate Professors at HBKU's College of Science and Engineering. Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Innovating Today, Shaping Tomorrow
Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), was founded in 2010 as a research-intensive university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region while having global impact. Located in Education City, HBKU is committed to building and cultivating human capacity through an enriching academic experience, innovative ecosystem, and unique partnerships. HBKU delivers multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programmes through its colleges, and provides opportunities for research and scholarship through its institutes and centres. For more information about HBKU, visit Related Story
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