While Western countries and some Asian powerhouses like Japan and South Korea have been the global leaders in digital currency adoption, it’s the Middle East that’s leading in blockchain adoption. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has especially been aggressive in its integration of the technology, and as Saeed Mohammed Ali Alhebsi told CoinGeek Backstage, its leaders are focused on powering the country’s digital future through blockchain technology.
Alhebsi is the AI advisor and a senior project manager at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. This ministry seeks to transform the job market in the UAE and establish a knowledge-based economy in line with the government’s vision for the nation.
As the ministry’s blockchain liaison, Alhebsi has been keeping track of blockchain development and especially its application to solve challenges that affect many in the Middle East, he told CoinGeek’s Sarah Higgs.
The UAE has been working on its blockchain strategy since 2018, Alhebsi revealed. Dubai, one of the country’s largest cities, has been leading this charge, and as of last year, most of the city was being powered by blockchain. UAE also has an ambitious target of transitioning its government activities to a blockchain platform.
“It’s mandatory from our leadership to implement blockchain technology,” Alhebsi told CoinGeek Backstage.
While the government has integrated blockchain into several processes, Alhebsi picked the decentralized identification project as one that excites him the most. In using blockchain for digital transactions, the UAE gives each resident a unique identification number that points to their information on-chain.
“No need to carry your driving license, now you have one unique identification based on blockchain technology that includes all your information—your driving license, healthcare information, your national ID etc,” Alhebsi said.
While the UAE government has been blockchain-agnostic so far, Alhebsi revealed that he has been a BSV blockchain enthusiast for just over a year now. He has been keeping track of all developments in the ecosystem and even follows the BSV Global Blockchain Convention (previously CoinGeek Conferences), with the next one scheduled in Dubai in a month’s time (grab your tickets here).
Alhebsi’s ministry has built a good relationship with the BSV ecosystem as well, he said.
He believes that what sets BSV apart is its efficiency, noting that what BSV’s massively scaling blockchain can achieve today is phenomenal. As CoinGeek has reported, BSV now processes more transactions than Ethereum, BTC, Solana, Ripple, and most other major blockchain networks combined. All with the tiniest fraction of a cent in fees, on-chain, unlike BTC’s Lightning Network and BSV, also never suffers an outage like Solana.
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