AIBC UAE summit gets overwhelming response in Dubai Filed on May 25, 2021

Dr Marwan Alzarouni, CEO, Dubai Blockchain Centre.

Adnan Al Noorani and Sheikh Saqer bin Mohamed Al Qasimi.

Arshad Khan, CEO of Arabian Bourse.

Brock Pierce, American entrepreneur, philanthropist, former US Presidential candidate and actor known for his work in the cryptocurrency industry at AIBC UAE summit.

Ali Shabdar, MEA, regional-director, Zoho Corp.

Eman Pulis, group founder of SiGMA.

The UAE and Dubai and are always at the forefront of innovation and blockchain and crypto assets still have huge potential for growth and innovation.

The AIBC UAE summit opened dialogue on the growing acceptance of blockchain, AI, crypto, and other emerging technologies on Tuesday. The 3-day in-person summit hosted 3,000 attendees in Dubai.

“The UAE and Dubai and are always at the forefront of innovation and blockchain and crypto assets still have huge potential for growth and innovation. This is true in regards to both the technology and the financial aspects. We as Dubai Blockchain Center aim to create a fertile environment to foster innovation and educate everyone on the applicable use-cases of this revolutionary economic system that is created by blockchain technology,” said Dr Marwan Alzarouni, CEO, Dubai Blockchain Centre, who gave the opening speech at the summit on Tuesday.

The organisers of the AIBC Summit, who are promoting futuristic technologies, have expressed interest to work with the UAE leaders at the forefront. “We are always eager to work with various leaders across the UAE and are delighted to be able to offer a platform to showcase the industry at its best. A growing reputation as a financial and tech hub for the emerging digital world has fuelled interest from entrepreneurs focussed on exploring new niches in innovation and economic diversification - making it an ideal host city for AIBC. Heavy investment in building a strong regulatory framework and strong support from the government means that the region continues to play a pivotal role in connecting the blockchain and crypto ecosystem on both a local and global stage. It is undeniable that blockchain and crypto assets are set to disrupt the future in a way that will revolutionise economic opportunity for all sectors across the UAE,” said Eman Pulis, group founder of SiGMA.

Event sponsor, Arabian Bourse, stressed that it is constructive to explore the latest fin-tech, virtual asset, and AI  initiatives, promoting cross-border collaborations and determining the untapped opportunities under one roof. Arshad Khan, CEO of Arabian Bourse, said: “The AIBC Summit was a well-executed event, different from the usual. I enjoyed attending an in-person summit after such a long time. The summit successfully created an ecosystem involving some major players in the industry from all over the world.”

Khan highlighted the impact of regulations and policies on international crypto-trading. The presentation focussed on the importance of regulations for the organic growth of the virtual assets industry.

Prof. Scott Stornetta, Co-founder of Early Blockchain, said: “The UAE has built a crossroads of commerce and prosperity in the middle of the desert by creating a safe and welcoming environment that allows innovation to flourish.  So I believe it will create another miracle in the desert using blockchain and crypto assets by uniquely combining technological innovation with the deep traditions of Islamic finance and its humanising effect on capitalism. I look forward to the UAE witnessing the  and would be happy to support it in any way I can.”

Dubai’s progressive approach towards digital assets is evident as more and more freezones come forward to open doors for businesses involved in digital assets. “The UAE has already a set of robust rules and regulations for free zones in place. In the light of the recent announcements, free zones will have to stay competitive and remain a leading business destination. More transparent and efficient regulations, especially in regards to setting up, operation and finance, matching the ever changing needs of businesses wanting to operate in the country is fundamental to the success of all parties involved,” said Ali Shabdar, MEA, regional-director, Zoho Corp.

Cryptocurrency is here to stay with top global brands extending their support it is evident that the digital assets continues to gain momentum, said Brock Pierce, US entrepreneur, philanthropist, former US Presidential candidate and actor, who was on visit to Dubai to attend AIBC UAE summit.

“Top names like Visa, Mastercard Paypal, Square, BNY Mellon, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley – these major financial institutions do not make these decisions lightly. These are massive brands and for them to attach their brand to something like Bitcoin was done through years of research and study. It wasn’t done just on the fly. And so I think cryptocurrency is here to stay,” said Pierce.

Pierce was listed No9 in the Forbes first-ever List of Cryptocurrency’s Wealthiest People, with his net worth estimated as high as $1 billion. As a child actor, he was in Disney films The Mighty Ducks, D2: The Mighty Ducks, and First Kid. He was an independent candidate in the 2020 United States presidential election.

Pierce strongly encourages family offices, large-scale investors to clearly look at cryptocurrency as a hedge from an asset allocation perspective.

“Dubai is definitely beating the drum of the future and they definitely appear to put a flag in the ground and say this is a place where we welcome innovation, we would like the best and the brightest to come and build here, you are supported, you got capital, and which clearly when you are trying to attract innovation, you have to have the capital formation to support it and Dubai clearly has that. Not just Dubai but all of the UAE, lots of capital, lots of interest in innovation and the fact that it’s been open, not just for business but for life has made it a compelling place because ultimately we can now work from anywhere and so we would want to work in places that have quality of life combined with opportunity and Dubai has definitely married those two,” said Pierce. —


Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.

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