acccenture-unchained-blockchain.pdf - UNCHAINED How the...

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How the Middle East Can Unleash Blockchain’s Transformative Potential UNCHAINED
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Blockchain, as a distributed ledger technology, is best known as the architecture that underpins cryptocurrencies, but its potential applications go much further. Indeed, it promises to revolutionize the business and financial environment – by reinventing processes, improving productivity and quality, reducing costs, and enhancing transparency. Combining blockchain with other technologies such as analytics and machine learning could make it even more powerful. The profound changes this technology can deliver in unlocking value apply as much to the financial services industry as any other – and as much to the Middle East as anywhere else in the world. Understanding blockchain’s potential is therefore of vital importance to banks, businesses and governments in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in particular the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – both of which are key players in the region’s financial services industry. The time to act is now. 2 | UNCHAINED: HOW THE MIDDLE EAST CAN UNLEASH BLOCKCHAIN’S TRANSFORMATIVE POTENTIAL
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SUMMARY • Blockchain is an innovative digital architecture that eliminates the need for manual processing or authentication via intermediaries. Transactions that use blockchain are quicker, more reliable and more transparent, and generate efficiencies and cost savings. Payments, for example, are instantaneous and have full transactional transparency. • The UAE – and Dubai in particular – is at the forefront of blockchain technology in the Middle East, while Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have recently also taken steps towards adoption. • The result will be growing blockchain -based ecosystems that will benefit governments and businesses. • Financial services companies are among those that could gain the most from adopting blockchain solutions in areas such as payments, supply chain financing and trade, as well as reporting, compliance and operations. • Remittances are key to banks’ revenues in the region, and distributed ledger solutions could result in substantial cost savings and better customer service. • Other areas ripe for the technology include know your customer, digital signatures and supply chain finance. • Three major obstacles to the adoption of blockchain are insufficient knowledge among executives; regulatory issues; and the lack of a fully functioning ecosystem that would support the rollout of relevant solutions. • Regulation is a stumbling block, but regulators have shown that they see the value of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and are working to support these technologies, which bodes well for future adoption. 3 | UNCHAINED: HOW THE MIDDLE EAST CAN UNLEASH BLOCKCHAIN’S TRANSFORMATIVE POTENTIAL
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TOWARDS A NEW ECOSYSTEM Take one example among many: the Global Blockchain Council, which the emirate established in 2016. The purpose of this body of almost 50 government and business entities is to guide the technology’s growth and adoption. 1
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  • Fall '19
  • United Arab Emirates

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