For many ambitious governments and businesses, blockchain is the internet of the future, however, the new technology lacks enough professionals to carry out its operations, a Dubai-based senior technology official told Zawya.

Blockchain is a digital record, or ledger, of transactions which processes and settles financial dealings within minutes using computer algorithms that don’t need a third-party verification.

Dubai was the fastest government in the Middle East to adopt blockchain, with several governmental bodies, including Dubai Land Department and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) signing up to the technology and setting a goal to make it available citywide by the year 2020.

“Not only in Dubai, but worldwide, there is a shortage of blockchain professionals. Those that are available are in great demand,” Adam Lalani, the head of information technology at Dubai’s Tristar Group, a logistics company specialising in petroleum and chemical industries, told Zawya in an email interview earlier this month.

Blockchain first emerged as the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies. It was later incorporated in other sectors such as including healthcare, education, cars and others.

“As the applicability of blockchain technology to non-financial/bitcoin transactions is still in its infancy, and many organisations/entities are trying to figure out ways to leverage the technology, the few experts available are likely to move from project to project quite quickly,” Lalani said.

“That said, I can only see the rise of blockchain-based technology firms here in Dubai and the region. Dubai is an ideal place for the fostering of entrepreneurs, creative minds and being at the vanguard of technology. It makes sense for these kinds of people to set up here where you are one flight away from most of the world,” he added.

The UAE has always been quick to embrace modern technological innovations and in October it appointed the country’s first Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

Global technology research firm Gartner, Inc speculated that artificial intelligence (AI) will help create 2.3 million new jobs worldwide by 2020, while eliminating 1.8 million others, the company said in a press release on Thursday.

Further Reading:
Blockchain can pave the way for safe transactions
Why do UAE and Saudi Arabia want to use blockchain?
Is blockchain technology the next big thing?
Blockchain is technology no one should ignore
Dubai's Dnata, flydubai to use blockchain for cargo service delivery
INTERVIEW: Du studying blockchain adoption, says CEO

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Shane McGinley)

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