Consensys to expand in the MENA region

Consensys to expand in the MENA region

Consensys will launch its production grade deployment for Dubai Properties in April 2018

In January 2018 Consensys opened their international office in Dubai in Dubai Design District, the second largest operation globally. Consensys has been an advisor to Smart Dubai for its Blockchain powered city implementation.

UNLOCK met with Lina Hediah, Executive Director of Consensys in MENA region during Bloomberg Blockchain event in Dubai who brought us up to speed on what has happened since Consensys opened its offices earlier this year.

As Hediah explains, “We are very happy to be working out of Dubai as it offers excellent platform for expansion into the region. Since we opened we have added more capacity to the operations and now have more than 28 employees growing from just 4 last year and we are looking at adding more before the end of the year.”

As for expansions Hediah explains, “We will be starting soon in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we will be announcing it very soon. KSA is very intent on Blockchain implementation and a big part of its 2030 plan rests on Blockchain. They are very bullish about incorporating Blockchain and when KSA go into something they go in big.”

These are not the only countries that Consensys is looking into. According to Heidah, Bahrain is also making strides especially with the opening of its Fintech hub. She adds, “We are also interested in Egypt, they are starting to look at Blockchain but we see Egypt as a talent hub for Ethereum developers. We have started exploring opportunities with universities and developers as well as startup community there to spread education and knowledge on Ethereum.

Dubai remains the main focal point for Blockchain not only in the region but globally. Hediah states, “Dubai is today the Blockchain capital of the world and Dubai government and us are continuously questioned by governments around the world with regards to Blockchain implementation. What Dubai government started is now spilling over into the private sector. We see interest from financial sector in UAE, logistics, as well as retail energy oil and gas. We see 2018 as still the year of proof-of-concepts but definite production in 2019.”

Consensys will take its first customer into production next month, Dubai Properties part of Dubai Holding. As Hediah explained, “there aren’t many Blockchain production grade deployments around the world today so we are very pleased to be taking Dubai Property’s Blockchain documentation signature platform for property lifecycle management live. This will then be leveraged across the entire Dubai Holding organization.”

Consensys is currently in talks with DEWA (Dubai Energy Water Authority) for Blockchain electronic vehicle charging as well as discussing possible projects with Dubai’s 10X initiatives and will announce them also next month in April.

As for the issue of regulations and policies, Hediah believes, “although a lot of governments realize the opportunity with crypto-currencies they don’t want to be the first to do it. However, there will be a first mover and that first mover will gain a lot. As for Dubai it is definitely forthcoming and Smart Dubai is engaged in its policy track and changes in regulatory framework are inevitable.”

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