By: Alia Abdou
A new revolution just found its way to the Middle East and it’s going to be the start of a new era in the region’s technological transformations and the economic situation. Many people are still not aware of the term “Blockchain Technology”, it is defined as a distributed database that stores transaction records in a chronological order to allow the market contributors to keep track of the currency transactions without a central record keeping. Furthermore, it is not controlled by the central bank or by any supervision from a government or any other authority.
There are many registered types of digital currencies, such a Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Peercoin, and Dogecoin. However; Bitcoin is the most popular example of the digital currency. In other words, it’s the first crypto-currency that has been invading the Middle East press in the past couple of months. The blockchain technology is escalating in all the Middle Eastern regions including KSA, Qatar, and Bahrain, but it is booming in UAE and Saudi Arabia.
However, it was recently reported by various news agencies that Islamic experts from the Arab world have declared that mining in bitcoins, and all digital currencies for that matter, is forbidden by Islam for that it has no governmental supervision, thus the Zakah on what’s earned cannot be applied.
According to the CNBC “Dubai is seeking a strategy to implement the blockchain technology. By the end of 2016, an innovation center (Dubai’s future foundation), declared the formation of a new bitcoin application called “BitOasis.” Dubai is applying an economic strategy that will only be based on the blockchain technology expected that most of the trading operations will be done through this technology.”
Dubai’s financial experts believe that this innovation will have a huge impact on different business projects in the Middle East including the fields of banking, medical care, real estate, education, tourism, commerce and transportation.
Moreover, according to the Gulf News newspaper “Saudi Arabia and UAE will be occupied together on a new project based on the blockchain technology, which will be delivering a new digital currency that will be used in cross-border transaction between the two countries.”
Blockchain technology will powerfully influence the balance of power between existing market players in different industries. It will also help in promoting new digital business models.