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

Meet Our Speakers
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

Wachsman

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
NuclearChain
DistributedApps

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. 

Sponsors and Partners

Why UNLOCK 2019

Blockchain is here to stay and is growing. Blockchain is set to have a market size of 2.5 trillion by 2021 from its current 548.2 billion in 2018. Over the last five years venture capitalists have invested more than $3 billion in Blockchain projects.  Over 90% of the banking industry is studying Blockchain initiatives, and governments around the world are setting up regulatory and legislative policies to tackle the issues arising from this new force-field.

According to market research Blockchain use cases are developing across 20 industry verticals most notably in supply chain, identity, security, financial services-commerce, and infrastructure.

For these reasons and more, we are holding the second edition of UNLOCK in Dubai UAE on January 15th-16th 2019 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel DIFC.

 

UNLOCK Blockchain In

UNLOCK BLOCKCHAIN IN
 

Why Dubai and MENA region

UNLOCK is proud to be organizing the second edition of UNLOCK in Dubai. Dubai and the UAE were pioneers in terms of embracing Blockchain as a means to create a more efficient and optimal government service. Today Dubai is implementing 20 Blockchain case studies and the UAE has forged ahead with its Blockchain strategy to have 50% of governmental services on the Blockchain by 2021.

In addition countries across the GCC and MENA region are developing strategies when it comes to Blockchain. Bahrain is working on its Fintech sandboxes which include crypto-currency exchanges and startups. KSA is also on the path to implementing Blockchain in its 2030 strategy with organizations such as KSA Riyadh Municipality, STC and SAMA.

As such the MENA region is ripe for not only Blockchain use cases but also a growing Blockchain ecosystem scene in terms of startups and investors.

Register to unlock 2019
Agenda
Day One: 2019-01-15
08:30
am
Registration & Morning Coffee
30 minutes
09:00
am
Welcome Speech
10 minutes
09:10
am
Keynote Speech
20 minutes
09:30
am
Panel 1: ICOs, Crypto-currencies and the Future of Exchanges in a Regulated World.
45 minutes

The panel will review the current state of ICO market, crypto-currencies/tokens (security or utility) and exchanges. Regulations and legislations are key elements for the future of Blockchain ecosystem. Countries globally and in MENA region either have initiated legal and regulatory standards or have issued studies in this regards.

10:15
am
Networking Coffee break and tour of Blockchain Ecosystem Participants
30 minutes
10:45
am
Unlock Chat: The Advent of Scalable and Interoperable Blockchain is it near?
30 minutes

In 2019, most of Blockchain projects will move from proof of concept into full production mode, upon this, not only will scalability be the main issue but interoperability and speed. How well advanced are we today in connecting Blockchains together as well as with legacy systems? Can we bring the Blockchain world together to work seamlessly and more efficiently or will we have siloes of Blockchains with varying efficiencies?

11:15
am
Panel 2: How are Governments utilizing Blockchain today?
45 minutes

This panel will discuss the movement of institutional investors into the Blockchain sphere whether they are investing in crypto-currencies or ICOs. Today Crypto Funds are on the rise. The question what effect will they have on the current climate. Who will be funding the next round of ICOs? Will there still be ICOs? What do institutional and family offices want from the Blockchain ecosystem?

12:00
pm
Panel 3: Investing in Blockchain Individual, Institutional and Crypto Funds.
45 minutes

This panel will discuss the movement of institutional investors into the Blockchain sphere whether they are investing in crypto-currencies or ICOs. Today Crypto Funds are on the rise. The question what effect will they have on the current climate. Who will be funding the next round of ICOs? Will there still be ICOs? What do institutional and family offices want from the Blockchain ecosystem?

12:45
pm
Lunch and Networking / Announcements
1 hour and 15 minutes
02:00
pm
Panel 4: Utilizing Blockchain for the trade, supply chains and Business.
45 minutes

As many, know when money moves faster between buyers and sellers, when supply chains are transparent, efficient and secure, and when businesses can be set up in the push of a button, trade and economies will grow and propel innovation and the movement of goods and services. This session will discuss how Blockchain can improve the economic environment and build a more connected well cohesive world trade.

02:45
pm
Keynote Speech
15 minutes
03:00
pm
Networking Coffee Break /Announcements
20 minutes
03:20
pm
Panel 5: Tokenizing everything, why do it?
40 minutes

Today at the center of most Blockchain discussions is the topic of tokenization. The tokenization of physical and digital assets onto the Blockchain will enable the physical world of today to mesh into the digital. Questions as to what will this mean for business, economies, and even social lives is still not been fully understood. This session will open up the discussion on what it means to tokenize, why it should be done and the final results of a tokenized world.

04:00
pm
Keynote Speech
20 minutes
08:30
pm
Onwards Cocktails and Entertainment reception
1 hour and 30 minutes
Day Two: 2019-01-16
08:30
am
Networking Breakfast
1 hour
09:30
am
Panel 6: If I were an AI & you were a Blockchain, how would we Tango in a Smart City?
45 minutes

This panel will discuss how artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technologies can work together to enhance the efficiencies and quality of offerings in Smart Cities given the data generated from Blockchain and the predictive analytics derived from AI.

10:15
am
UNLOCK Chat: Is Blockchain infringing on privacy or protecting it?
45 minutes

Privacy, security of data, and the latest GDPR compliance law in EU have opened up Pandora’s box as to whether the Blockchain were data is immutable and can never be erased actually infringes on privacy rather than protecting it. This chat will talk about privacy and security in the era of Blockchain and AI.

11:00
am
Networking Coffee Break & Announcements
30 minutes
11:30
am
Panel 7: Evolution of Payments and personal finance in the Blockchain era.
45 minutes

Blockchain’s largest implementations have been in payments whether with traditional banking or Fintech startups. Today governments are using Blockchain for settlement and consolidation between their accounts, as things develop, this will go beyond to reach the everyday citizen. Other sectors such as tourism and hospitality are exploring the Blockchain settlement process. Payments is becoming as easy and as common as getting out of bed. What will happen in the era of seamless efficient payments and what challenges are still being faced?

12:15
pm
Panel 8: State of Blockchain in transportation and energy sector.
45 minutes

Transportation and the energy sectors are key pillars in any economy. Bringing efficiency to these sectors is of great relevance. With the advent of Blockchain how will the energy and transportation sector utilize this technology to better serve customers and the economy

01:00
pm
Lunch and networking
1 hour
02:00
pm
Panel 9: The role of Telecom operators/ Cloud providers in Blockchain as a service.
45 minutes

For many, Blockchain is not only a technical, skill intensive project but also a costly one. Telco operators, cloud providers, governments, and Blockchain technology providers are coming up with models that will help alleviate that, with concepts such as Blockchain as a service or Blockchain on the cloud. Should entities explore BAAS or should they build their own? Which one is more beneficial, secure and in what cases applicable?

02:45
pm
Panel 10: Blockchain Digitizing Identity: The future of a digital life.
45 minutes

In this panel discussion, we imagine a world where we are all on the digital plane from the moment we are born to the day we die, where all that we own, the means we use to buy and sell and get paid have identities on the Blockchain what will this look like, how will we interact with the physical world and can we tell the difference?

03:30
pm
Keynote Speech “One Year before Expo 2020, what roles will Blockchain, AI, 3D, printing and Big Data
30 minutes
04:00
pm
Closing Remark
30 minutes

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