Naveen Sharma, chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) UAE, Dubai Chapter. - Photo by Leslie Pableo
Blockchain technology is revolutionising transactions by removing the third party and lowering costs drastically, financial experts said at a conference on Saturday.
Naveen Sharma, chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) UAE, Dubai Chapter, said blockchain promises a world where all transactions can be logged, viewed and monitored in the real time.
Speaking at the "Investments and Capital Market Open Day," Sharma said the fast evolving technology has potential implications for a wide variety of sectors, professionals, accountants and auditors.
"Blockchain technology offers significant opportunities for professionals living in the UAE as there is a big push by the government for its adoption."
He also observed that investments and capital markets scenario is rapidly changing as good knowledge of in those areas would help chartered accountants to enhance their role.
Sirish Kumar, founder & CEO of Telr, said the first four decades of internet saw email, social media, mobile web and big data reducing costs of searching, collaborating, exchanging of information, as well as lowering barriers of entry for digital ventures.
"However, we still cannot establish reliably one another's identities or trust one another to transact without validation from bank or government. These intermediaries invade your privacy, and peer-to-peer empowerment is not yet delivered. In this scenario, blockchain is a technology that enables moving digital currency from one person to another, and removes the third party; speeds up movement; while lowering costs and creating a chain of transactions in a ledger that is open and publicly visible to all," said Kumar.
He argued that the economic payoff of these digital media is speed, reduced costs associated with sending infinite amounts of data to giant central processing facilities, removal of intermediaries, and efficiency by freeing up excess capacity, increased security, integrity, privacy protection and predictive capability. Meng Chan Shu, director of Business Development - DGCX, Saugat Sur, head of South Asia-DGCX and Sudhan Sundaram, head of Equity Products, DCGX, spoke about the opportunities in Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the largest and most diversified derivatives exchange in the Middle East.
"For single stock futures, people can buy the underlying cash and instead of selling the futures in Indian markets, they call sell them in the DGCX market. There are 10 Indian single stock futures traded on the DGCX, which were launched in 2016 and the attractions have significantly increased this year, where there has been an increase in volumes since July 2017, subsequent to changes in the home markets," they said.
DGCX is launching 44 Indian stocks futures in December 2017, which will cover the full NIFTY space, they said. Dr Mohit Batra, founder & CEO-Marketmojos, said India's Gross National Savings (GNS) as a percentage of GDP, stood at 28.9 per cent in 2016 as against the GNS of developed nations like the UK (15.1 per cent), and that of emerging markets like Brazil (15.8 per cent) and Russia (28.6 per cent).
Batra said the "India advantage" includes growing demand, innovation, growing penetration and policy support. Equity culture has been on the rise. The asset management industry in India is among the fastest growing in the world. As of 2017, 42 asset management companies were operating in India, he added.
In a panel discussion that followed, Rajesh Kothari, Managing Director, AlfAccurate Advisors, Govind Agarwal, Director, AlfAccurate Advisors, discussed commodity process, which are expected to remain firm, in which case inflation will move up, leading to possibly higher interest rates in the US and globally.