In its ongoing commitment to blockchain technology, Microsoft Gulf today participated in the UNLOCK forum. The regional event was conceived by pan-Arab business and economy magazine Al Iktissad Wal Aamal, and organised in partnership with Smart Dubai.
The forum taking place on 14th and 15th of January, aims to address the benefits and opportunities associated with the technology, through discussions centred on how governments and private enterprises in the MENA region can use blockchain applications to create more efficient governments, more resilient economies and more competitive businesses.
Microsoft marked its presence at the forum as the Digital Key Partner, and participated in panel discussions. Ramez Dandan, the company’s Chief technology officer for the Gulf region, and a leading expert in blockchain applications, joined other panellists from Smart Dubai Office, Du, Delaware Blockchain Initiative and Wanxiang China, for a discussion titled “The Secret Sauce for Successful Blockchain Implementations”. The panel covered methodologies, legalities, and private and public collaborations necessary to implement successful blockchain solutions.
Dandan also delivered a keynote address at the conference, titled “Lessons Learned from Worldwide Blockchain Projects, where he covered blockchain best practices developed by Microsoft, working with customers worldwide, as well as major elements of the company’s own blockchain approach.
Microsoft blockchain experts at the forum also demonstrated game-changing technology solutions such as the Azure-hosted COCO Framework – an open, flexible, scalable platform that supports a rapidly growing number of blockchain technologies. COCO is designed to address a wide range of specific business and technical requirements for security, performance and operational controls, and its Data and AI platform provides unique off-chain data-management and analysis capabilities.
The Dubai Future Foundation cited studies that predict the global market for digital transactions will reach $9.5 billion by 2021. During the same period, worldwide investments in blockchain technology are expected to surpass $300 billion.
“Investment in blockchain, across the GCC and beyond, is ramping up at an impressive rate, as organisations recognise it for the disruptive digital transformation technology that it is,” said Dandan, “Microsoft’s participation in UNLOCK follows its commitment in Feb 2016 to the Dubai Future Foundation’s Global Blockchain Council because we strongly believe in the technology’s immense potential for enterprises of all scales and industries. It allows them to share business processes with suppliers, customers and partners, leading to new opportunities for multi-party collaboration and, eventually, exciting new business models.”
Arising from the need to build reliable, secure audit trails for the digital currency bitcoin, blockchain has gathered momentum as a means of maintaining trustworthy transaction records. With its holistic approach to security, Microsoft is continually working with customers, partners and the blockchain community to enhance its blockchain offerings. The company’s platforms and services are designed so that any company – whether a ledger start-up, retailer, health provider, global bank or dozens of other businesses – can make the most out of the opportunities and benefits of blockchain.
“The Microsoft Cloud, Azure provides a rapid, low-cost, low-risk, and fail-fast platform for organizations to collaborate on by experimenting with new business processes—and it’s all backed by a cloud platform with the largest compliance portfolio in the industry,” added Dandan.