UNLOCK: Blockchain News, Latest Trends and News about Blockchain Technology

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Nick Spanos

Nick Spanos

BlockTech and Zap

Founder Chief Executive OfficerBlockTech and Zap

He is one of the earliest adopters and innovators in the blockchain space. He is best known for launching Bitcoin Center NYC, the world’s first live cryptocurrency exchange, in 2013, right next to the New York Stock Exchange - as immortalized in the Netflix documentary “Banking on Bitcoin”.

As the cofounder of Zap.org and the CEO of BlockTech, Nick has also pioneered applications of blockchain technology in the fields of voting, smart contracts, and the oil and gas sector.

Nick is deeply passionate about education and permissionless blockchain innovation and has lectured in over twenty countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.

He studied computer science and aerospace engineering at the New York Institute of Technology.

Wesam Lootah

Wesam Lootah

Smart Dubai Government Establishment

CEOSmart Dubai Government Establishment

A committed and talented Emirati, Wesam has more than 18 years of experience in strategic leadership positions where he has leveraged Information Technology to create innovative channels and Smart Government infrastructure to improve the quality of public services for citizens, residents, visitors and businesses in Dubai.

Wesam has worked in both government and the private sector in high profile organizations. From 2009 to 2012, Wesam was Vice President, Information Technology at World Trade Centre where he led the transformation of IT through a number of initiatives including the implementation of sales force automation, CRM, and ERP implementation.

Prior to that, he was Director, Information Technology at Emaar Properties. During his time at Emaar, Wesam led the global rollout of sales automation and ERP across Emaar subsidiaries. This included countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Wesam holds a Master’s degree in Computer science and engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. Wesam is also an author with published research in Computer Security.

Nour Hineidi Kirk

Nour Hineidi Kirk

DIFC Courts

Deputy RegistrarDIFC Courts

Nour was appointed as Deputy Registrar of the DIFC Courts in February 2018.

Nour’s main role is to work in tandem with the Registrar, helping to ensure seamless operation of the Courts. Her duties include maintaining the momentum of existing Registry measures, which aim at ensuring increasing efficiency through the accomplishment of technology and human experience. She also focusses on professional development and supporting UAE nationals to pursue senior careers within the DIFC Courts. In addition, Nour consults with the DIFC Courts judges to assist them in carrying out their duties.

Prior to joining the Courts, Nour practiced in the Dubai office of a large international firm. She has over ten years legal experience in Australia and the Middle East, with her expertise concentrated in international commercial arbitration and litigation across a broad range of sectors.

Bilal M. Husain

Bilal M. Husain

Digital Transformation IT ME

Founder and CEODigital Transformation IT ME

After holding different public sector positions, Bilal returned to his entrepreneurial spirit and founded the startup Digital Transformation LLC. The startup focuses on Blockchain and Cyber security.

Previously Bilal worked at the Ministry of Economy and Planning KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), as an Advisor for the Minister as well as managing multiple operational roles.

He also held the position of First Acting Deputy Minister for Shared Services at MEP, a newly developing concept at public sector for combining much of back office services into a single unit. Shared Services consisted of Finance and Admin, HR, IT, PMO and General Services.

Bilal is an active member in  the  Bureau of Experts at the Council of Minister, member of many committees discussing legislative reform of areas like review of government procurement system, drafting of Freedom of Information Act, drafting privacy of information act, review of general audit bureau's report...etc.

He also participated in numerous internal committees related to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and NTP2020 (National Transformation Program).

Prior joining MEP, Bilal worked as an Advisor to the Minister and Head of Internal Audit and Inventory Control at Ministry of Health (MoH). He also previously held the position of Director General of Internal Audit (Chief Audit Executive) at Ministry of Labor, Saudi Arabia. 

Mohsen Alzahrani

Mohsen Alzahrani

Saudi Payments (Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency)

Vice President of Strategy and ExcellenceSaudi Payments (Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency)

Mohsen is passionate about innovation and digitalization.

He leads all current SAMA blockchain initiatives.

Mr. Alzahrani holds a master degree in computer engineering; he is MIT Fintech certified

He also recently won the 'Visionary' award from Ripple's first ever 'Blockchain Innovator Awards'.

Bart Brands

Bart Brands

European Blockchain Foundation

PresidentEuropean Blockchain Foundation

Bart Brands (1982) is a Security expert and Certified Security Intelligence Professional.

He developed an award nominated anti-terror method and worked at the Ministry of Justice in Holland. in 2010

He got elected as a member of the City Council of The Hague and in 2011 as a member of the Provincial Parliament of South Holland.

 In 2013 Bart became interested in Bitcoin and Blockchain technology and started giving workshops about the technology in early 2017.

In april of 2018 Bart, along with others Founded the European Blockchain Foundation with  the mission of promoting and creating a Blockchain friendly regulatory ecosystem in Europe.

Michael Chang

Michael Chang


Head of Strategic AdvisoryWachsman

Michael advises high growth technology companies from both inside and outside the blockchain industry on transformative capital raising and partnership development strategies to bridge the gap between the blockchain ecosystem and the traditional economy.

Prior to Wachsman, Michael was a Senior Vice President in the Technology Investment Banking Group at Jefferies. At Jefferies, Michael led the blockchain investment banking coverage effort, where he advised and executed transactions for institutional clients including technology companies, institutional investors, and emerging blockchain companies.

Prior to Jefferies, Michael was a Director in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Vice President at Citigroup in New York, where he collectively advised on over US$40 billion in M&A and capital raising transactions.

Michael holds a MBA from Cornell University, where he was a Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow, and BA in Economics with Honors of Highest Distinction at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Hesham Bin-Abbas

Dr. Hesham Bin-Abbas

Ministry of Communications and Information technology (MCIT) and the Blockchain Leader in Saudi Arabia

Senior ConsultantMinistry of Communications and Information technology (MCIT) and the Blockchain Leader in Saudi Arabia

Dr. Hesham Bin-Abbas is a Senior Consultant at Ministry of Communications and Information technology (MCIT) and the Blockchain Leader in Saudi Arabia.

Before joining MCIT, he was a Director at EY (Ernst & Young) MENA in the Technology Consulting GPS Advisory Services. His experience covers both private and public sectors as he managed multiple businesses and initiatives including Internet Service, Technology Innovations and Marketing, entrepreneurship, and Advisory Services relevant to vision 2030 of KSA.

Bin-Abbas holds a Ph.D. Degree in Computer Networks and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Pittsburgh and University of Washington, Seattle, respectively. He graduated from King Saud University, the department of Electrical Engineering with First Class Honor.

LLanjin (Ken ) Huang

LLanjin (Ken ) Huang

Security IOT, NuclearChain, DistributedApps

CEO FounderSecurity IOT

Mr. Huang in addition to being the CEO of 3 blockchain companies, is also the conference Commit Member of ACM AI Decentralized Practitioner Board , blockchain Expert Committee Member of Chinese Institute of Electronics  and a distinguished Researcher & Lecturer of  Big Data Blockchain and Regulatory Technology Laboratory and RegChain Laboratory of Renmin University of China.

He is author of the book Blockchain Security Technical Guide”  in Chinese and a senior advisor to several successful blockchain startups.

He is a frequent speaker at many global Blockchain conferences, including CoinDesk Consensus, Blockchain Connect, Tokensky, World Crypto Economic Forum, and Bigdata Expo in China.

Mohammed Irfan

Mohammed Irfan

Global Operations at Bloccelerate

VPGlobal Operations at Bloccelerate

Sheikh Mohammed Irfan is a serial entrepreneur, author, inventor, and philanthropist. He is currently the VP of Global Operations at Bloccelerate, a global blockchain venture fund based in Seattle. His focus areas are in the fields of emerging technologies and their implication in the global industries and economies.  His goal is to create a sustainable world enhanced by technology, people, empathy and effective resource distribution.

Irfan received his education from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MIT Sloan School of Management and Oxford Said Business School. He has a background in System Architecture, Computing and Business Management. Prior to his current role, he has worked extensively in the IT Enterprise industry as a technology strategist and advisor. He sits on the board of several projects in the intersection fields of technology, infra structure, finance and security. 

Peter Ferry

Peter Ferry

Wallet Services

Founder DirectorWallet Services

Peter co-founded Microsoft Scotland in addition to working as a consultant on leading edge web and security projects. He also lead Microsoft’s Cloud and Partner programs

He's has served on the board of Scotland IS, runs a Code Club for Primary age kids, and serves as the Honorary Consul to the Republic of Estonia in Scotland.

 In addition, he is a member of the Westminster All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain.

Peter graduated from the University of Strathclyde with BSc (Hons) Information Engineering and MSc Communications and Digital Signal Processing.  “

Paul Ferris

Paul Ferris

ObjectTech Group

Chief Executive OfficerObjectTech Group

Listed as one of the Global Top 100 Influencer in Identity, Paul regularly provides government briefings on the impact of new technologies, and is a speaker on identity, blockchain and advancing new technologies.

Paul is now the global lead for the development and standards of Digital identity and Blockchain for ISO. He is a founding board member of the UKDCA, a board representative on the IBC and represents the UK on the Global Blockchain Forum and is also a founder of the UK Digital Currency Association.

With 30 years’ experience of creating the technical architecture for next generation banking services in UK, Europe, Australia and the US, Paul has co-founded the ObjectTech Group who are building a digital, self-sovereign identity system to address the challenges and opportunities of the worlds current identity systems.

Paul has been instrumental in innovating seamless travel experiences, building for digital passports using blockchain and cryptography to provide security and accuracy, for both civilians and border controls.

Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi

Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi

Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulation (DHCR)

Chief Executive OfficerDubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulation (DHCR)

Dr Ramadan AlBlooshi is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulation (DHCR), an independent regulatory arm of Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), the governing body of Dubai Healthcare City free zone, a health and wellness destination.

DHCR is responsible for the licensure of all healthcare professionals and healthcare operators and setting and maintaining international best practice in healthcare delivery and patient care within the world’s largest free zone, occupying more than 26 million square feet in the heart of Dubai.

Prior to joining in October 2014, Dr Ramadan was the Director of the Health Regulation Department at Dubai Health Authority (DHA). Committed to raising the standards of healthcare delivery, he played an instrumental role in establishing clinical governance in the emirate. He was also tasked with leading medical tourism strategy and setting up policies in healthcare practice in both government and private sectors.

His journey into governance was preceded by clinical roles - three years as internist with the UAE Ministry of Health (MOH) and two years as a gastroenterologist at Rashid Hospital.

In his career, he has demonstrated expertise in areas including registration and regulation of facilities and professionals; inspection of healthcare facilities; customer care; polices and standards; complaints management; health informatics; and medical tourism.

Dr Ramadan holds a Masters’ degree in business administration (MBA) from the Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, and in Science (gastroenterology) from the Queen Mary University, London, UK. In addition, he holds an Executive Diploma in Public Administration from the National University of Singapore.

He is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). He is also a participant of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development (MBRPLD), an innovative leadership programme designed to develop future national leaders capable of promoting the sustainable development of Dubai.

Outside work, Dr Ramadan enjoys traveling and water sports.

Toufi Saliba

Toufi Saliba

Toda.Network CEO, UN Chair Blockchain & AI Global Initiative

Toda.Network CEO
UN Chair Blockchain & AI Global Initiative

Toufi is a serial technopreneur with a track record in algorithms, machine learning and cryptography since 2001. In parallel to his crypto life, he has built & sold IP that ended up at Google, HP and his last AI startup became an Intel company. Co-Author of the TODA Protocol, Was the elected Global Chair of ACM's Practitioners Board CC where he founded AiDecentralized.com in 2017, an invited speaker at WIC, UN, ITU, AiForGood, and a board member & advisor to several tech ventures, organizations such as FSR and F500 companies.

Dr. Yannis Kalfoglou

Dr. Yannis Kalfoglou

Blockchain Advisor

Blockchain Advisor

Dr. Kalfoglou is a blockchain advisor to large FG500 multinationals in a multitude of industries, including financial services, technology, consulting, consumer electronics, energy, and insurance. He focuses on blockchain strategic and tactical advice to clients. He brings onboard 5 years of hands-on experience with commercial scale blockchain work and experiences from diverse industries and use cases.

He led the blockchain efforts at a large global asset manager in the capital markets. He pioneered proof-of-concept blockchain work in the smart contracting space for management fees, worked with post-trading reconciliation and settlement solutions using blockchain technology and evangelized use cases of blockchain across all functions in institutional asset management.

He has also been involved and advised blockchain startups in the insurance space in the banking sector for fiat-to-crypto vertical integration for retail markets, in the data marketplace space for the use of AI technology to determine optimum demand/supply pricing and a number of ad-hoc engagements for innovative use cases of blockchain in intellectual property, smart cities, consumer loyalties, and many others.

Dr Kalfoglou holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the leading centre of excellence for AI research, University of Edinburgh, and 7 years post doc research on the Semantic Web.

Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki

Saeed Hareb Al Darmaki

Binary Financial and Co-Founder of Alphabit Fund

Managing DirectorBinary Financial and Co-Founder of Alphabit Fund

Al Darmaki has great insight into the crypto currency space that enables him to develop a key network of contacts which has helped him grow his knowledge of the market exponentially.

Saeed started his career at ADIA in October 2009 as an Operations specialist then from May 2013 became a Fixed Income & Treasury specialist.

In June 2018 he decided to leave ADIA to focus on the crypto currency industry.

Abdullah Almoaiqel

Abdullah Almoaiqel


Co-Founder and PartnerRain

Abdullah is a co-founder and partner at Rain Financial (Rain.bh) - a central bank regulated digital currency exchange based in Manama, Bahrain. Previously Abdullah co-founded Tykn.tech, a blockchain identity company in the Netherlands helping NGOs and government institutions register identity beneficiaries such as refugees. Abdullah has been one of the largest evangelists and educators on the potential impact of blockchain technology and digital currency in Saudi Arabia, hosting talks, workshops and meetups since 2014.

Abdulrahman Ali Alolayan

Abdulrahman Ali Alolayan

Taibah Valley

Chief Executive Officer and Co-FounderTaibah Valley

Abdulrahman Alolayan currently holds the position of CEO and Co-founder of Taibah Valley, the investment arm of Taibah University. Taibah University recently opened up the Blockchain lab and has currently held various training sessions on blockchain.

Al Olayan is also an assistant professor at Taibah University School of Business. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of Arabian Organization for training and development.

Abdulrahman A. Alolayan holds a Ph.D degree in Business Administration from Morgan State University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management. He has a number of articles that he presented at conferences such as USASBE, EAM, and ICSB. He also taught Entrepreneurship, Principle of Management and Strategic Management courses at Taibah University and Morgan State University.

Eli Ansari

Eli Ansari

BRX Exchange, Boustead Capital Partners

Co-Founder & CEO / Co-Founder Managing PartnerBRX Exchange
Boustead Capital Partners

Eli is the Head of Blockchain Investment Banking and a Managing Director at Boustead Securities

(FINRA member and SEC Registered Broker Dealer) advising Blockchain companies on strategizing and

executing Security Token Offerings. Eli is also a Managing Partner at Boustead Capital Partners, an

institutional digital asset management firm focused investments in blockchain tech, digital

currency, tokens and crypto assets.

Previously, in his role as the Chief Investment Officer at Miven Family Office, Eli helped build

and manage a diversified global investment portfolio. Eli was also the founding CEO and CIO of

Corporate Metrix, a diversified multifamily office investment firm, where he led the global client

investment management and practice development. Eli was also a Venture Partner at Skyline/Irvine

Ventures, an early stage VC firm.

Eli holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses registered through Boustead Securities, LLC. 

Daniel Haudenschild

Daniel Haudenschild

SwissCom Blockchain AG

Chief Executive OfficerSwissCom Blockchain AG

Daniel comes from more than 20 years of experience with big 4 consulting firms. He was a partner at EY financial services advisory and le the distributed ledgers technology division. He is well versed in Hyperledger, Ethereum, Corda.

He has worked on DLT technologies for the financial sector where he was involved in the integration of cryptocurrency for digital payments. He also piloted a DLT product with smart contract for insurance sector. He has been engaged in various digital transformation projects.

Daniel has a Masters degree in Finance and international business.

Kamal Youssefi

Kamal Youssefi


Business Development ManagerSwisscom

Kamal is a blockchain Engineer and technology futurist. He has extensive experience in the design and implementation of IT projects.

Kamal has deep knowledge in distributed ledger technologies and financial cryptography. His previous projects at a Big 4  included re-designing and extending legacy systems using emerging technologies and agile methodologies.

He has extensive experience and expertise in crypto banking and Blockchain use cases for the banking sector, as well as blockchain as a service, digital asset custody and peer to peer payments.

He has worked on blockchain projects in insurance, hedgefunds, and in the GCC region, he successfully set up a national initiatives to implement a crypto remittance platforms.

He holds a Master of Science degree in computer science from one of the leading universities in Germany He is certified in Scrum and in Agile Practices as well as in SAP ERP 6.0 EHP5 , SAP BW and SAP ABAP (2015)

Hamdan Azhar

Hamdan Azhar


Chief Data ScientistZap.org

In addition to the position of chief data scientist at Zap.org, Mr. Azhar is alsothe founder of PRISMOJI.

He was formerly a senior data scientist in advertising research at Facebook. Prior to that, he was the national statistician on Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Hamdan is a frequent writer on the intersection of technology and culture and his writings have appeared in Forbes, VICE, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other outlets. He is also a prolific public speaker and has delivered invited lectures in 14 countries around the world.

Hamdan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn State, a master’s degree in biostatistics from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and spent one year in the Ph.D. program in neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

Arjeh van Oijen

Arjeh van Oijen


CEO & co-founderUnchain.io

Arjeh founded Unchain  a blockchain company that offers a solution that simplifies, accelerates, secures and lowers the costs of integrating existing systems and devices with blockchain networks.

Arjeh has 30+ years of experience in helping organizations to translate business strategy and concepts into IT strategy and solutions.

He has worked for banks, start-ups as well as large multi-national corporates.

Before Arjeh started Unchain, he worked at IBM where he was one of the front-runners in IBM’s blockchain initiatives. Arjeh is a regular speaker on the topic of blockchain at conferences.

Ibrahim AlKurd

Ibrahim AlKurd

Lavaliere Capital Management

Founding PartnerLavaliere Capital Management

He is the founding partner of Lavaliere Capital Management, a digital assets hedge fund headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, USA. The fund contains early investors and adopters of digital asset technology as well as world-class mining and machine learning experts. It leverages its principals' deep market knowledge and technical expertise for the benefit of its clients.

He is also the founder and CEO of New Mine New Mine, the UK's leading cryptocurrency mining company. New Mine has sold its mining hardware to customers across 3 continents and has extensive mining operations across the United States and Canada.

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