Saudi University to launch Kingdom’s first Blockchain lab

Blocktech, the New York-based blockchain technologies company, is partnering with Taibah Valley to launch the Blockchain Lab at Taibah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Directed by internationally recognized artificial intelligence expert, Professor Walaa Alharthi, it will be the kingdom’s first research and development lab dedicated to blockchain technologies.

Dr. Alharthi and several colleagues traveled to Blocktech’s New York headquarters this past summer to train alongside its CEO and founder, renowned blockchain expert, Nick Spanos, who guided her team in an intensive study of cutting edge blockchain development, specifically smart contracts, oracles, curation markets, and Zap bonding curves— all crucial to launching the lab.

“Mr. Spanos gave a keynote address at Taibah University earlier this year that opened our eyes to the immediate relevance and importance of blockchain,” explained Dr. Alharthi. “Our team was honored to be invited to New York to train with an original pioneer of this technology. We are excited to share what we learned with our students while using the vast applications of blockchain technologies to serve the entire region.”

The Blockchain Lab will operate in conjunction with the Taibah University Faculties of Computer Science, Law and Business with the goal of catalyzing blockchain adoption in the Middle East. Advanced programming and smart contract development will be used to solve pressing national and regional problems in the fields of finance, oil and gas, and supply chain management, among other industries.

“Decentralized blockchain technologies are disrupting every industry. We work with companies and institutions of all sizes and with all levels of blockchain literacy to create new solutions,” explained Mr. Spanos, who also founded the Bitcoin Center in New York City in 2013. “Dr. Alharthi is a trail blazer in her own right. We look forward to working with her so the lab can play a pivotal role in the nascent blockchain ecosystem in the Middle East.”

Blockchain labs are a relatively new phenomenon, with top institutes of higher education recognizing their necessity over the past few years. Taibah Valley’s Blockchain Lab will initially focus on bonding curves for tokenized services, curation markets for data integrity, and the Zap Oracle Platform which was also created by Spanos.

“The team at Blocktech is the original and foremost authority in a plethora of blockchain verticals and as such we knew any lab we created would need their involvement,” said Kumail Akbari, blockchain instructor to Taibah Valley.  “Taibah Valley invests in innovations with clear economic value. At this point, anyone who doesn’t see the enormous potential of blockchain is at risk of being left behind in obscurity.”

Taibah Valley is the investment arm of Taibah University run by CEO Dr. Abdulrahman Alolayan. Taibah University is a public university founded in 2003.  Nearly 70,000 students are currently enrolled in programs across wide-ranging disciplines. The Blockchain Lab and its underlying partnerships align with the university’s goal of meeting market and national developmental needs of high qualified graduates to allow them to effectively compete in today’s knowledge economy and globalized world.

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