Blockchain is a major focus for ICT leaders this GITEX Technology Week, with the announcement of a number of new projects and services based on the distributed ledger.
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) launched its new blockchain-as-a-service offering, which will help companies in Saudi to test blockchain, while Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority (ADSSSA) has announced its blockchain strategy.
STC has partnered with blockchain expert Consensys to create the [Blockchain On] service, which will enable organisations of all sizes to rapidly deploy private blockchain networks and start experimenting with them in a sandbox environment.
The service, which will run on top of STC's cloud marketplace, BluValt, is expected to appeal to government and private companies who want to test use cases for blockchain, without the need for large investments in infrastructure.
Talal AlBakr, Vice President of Cloud Services at STC Solutions says: "Adding blockchain to STC's Cloud Marketplace allows customers to start a private blockchain network with a click of a button. This service is a unique innovative offering on our marketplace that helps organizations to rapidly build and deploy blockchain applications."
Rami Maalouf, solutions practice lead MENA, ConsenSys, adds: "There's lots of demand from large enterprises + SMBs trying to understand how they can use blockchain for their own business purposes, whether it is optimising their own operations, or improving the provenance of some of their processes with external stakeholders - this is a starting point for them to have their technical teams start experimenting with use cases on top of a private blockchain."
Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions and Services Authority (ADSSSA) in partnership with DarkMatter Group, has Abu Dhabi's strategic direction for the adoption of blockchain technologies across government entities.
Through the partnership, the UAE's DarkMatter Group has designed and developed blockchain solutions and will help to implement them with government entities. The program also includes a cross-platform private blockchain implementation through a Software Development Kit that integrates proprietary cryptographic schemes and protocols, among others.
HE Dr Rauda Al Saadi, Director General of ADSSSA, says: "Blockchain is one of the most transformative technologies which presents a huge opportunity for the government to accelerate our digital journey towards meeting the needs of citizens, residents, and businesses, in line with the ‘Ghadan 2021', which is aimed towards building a sustainable knowledge economy. It is set to deliver the most efficient services, within a trusted and secure digital environment which ADSSSA has placed at the heart of its mission. With DarkMatter Group implementing the blockchain technology, we are confident that Abu Dhabi government services will continue to raise the bar in implementing effective technologies enabling the emirate's digital transformation initiatives."
Karim Sabbagh, CEO of DarkMatter Group, adds: "Imagine renewing your car registration, buying and selling property, renting and letting of property, registering businesses, making payments, receiving medical service, and renewing staff residencies. All done securely with a push of a button, and from the comfort of your home."
Dubai World Trade Centre will hold the second edition of its Future Blockchain Summit on 3rd and 4th April 2019, which it says is the world's largest blockchain festival.