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| 18 April, 2018

UAE to save $3bln with blockchain initiative

50 per cent of government transactions will be through the blockchain platform over the next 3 years

Image used for illustrative purpose

Image used for illustrative purpose

Getty Images

Under Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 initiative, 50 per cent of government transactions will be through the blockchain platform over the next 3 years. This revolutionary transformation is expected to save Dh11 billion in transactions and documents processed routinely, panellists at a seminar said on Wednesday.

The UAE's Blockchain initiative is also expected to save 398 million printed documents and 77 million work hours annually.

"By adopting blockchain technology, Dubai stands to unlock Dh5.5 billion in savings annually in document processing alone - equal to one Burj Khalifa's worth of value every year," Monis Rahman, head research scientist, Mobius.network, told participants at a session titled 'Reshaping business excellence through technology' organised by the Institute of Directors at the 2018 Dubai Global Convention.

He said much of the hype around blockchain has focused on their potential to fundamentally change the financial services industry - by dropping the cost and complexity of financial transactions, making the world's unbanked a viable new market, and improving transparency and regulation. Indeed, it is already having a big impact on that sector.

"Blockchain technology is complex, but the idea is simple. At its most basic, blockchain is a vast global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value - money, titles, deeds, music, art, scientific discoveries, intellectual property, and even votes - can be moved and stored securely and privately. On the blockchain, trust is established, not by powerful intermediaries like banks, governments and technology companies, but through mass collaboration and clever code," Rahman explained.

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Blockchain ensures integrity and trust between strangers. They make it difficult to cheat. In other words, it is the first native digital medium for value, just as the Internet was the first native digital medium for information. And this has big implications for business and the corporation, according to panellists, who also included Khurram Shroff, chairman, International blockchain Capital, IBC group; James Bernard, director, business development, DMCC; and Amit Ray, managing director, Protiviti Middle East Member Firm.

Ray said the ongoing drive to improve workplace efficiency through artificial intelligence and robotics would be costing millions of jobs across the world.

An Oxford University study claims that 45 per cent of all current jobs will disappear in the next 10 years, be automated or only a small fraction of human workforce will be necessary. Ray said in the US alone, 47 per cent jobs will be at risk in the short term.
"The factory of the future will only have 1 human and 1 dog, the human will be there to feed the dog and the dog will be there to keep the human from touching the machines," he said.

Job losses will be heavy in certain sectors as AI will replace dispatchers, waiters and bartenders, bank tellers, military pilots/foot soldiers, fast food workers, telemarketers, accountants and tax consultants, stock traders and construction workers, according to panellists. of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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