As Qatar gears up for the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, one cannot but think about what could be done to make the experience of visitors even more seamless, simple, and easy. Technologies such as the blockchain could have a strong and positive impact on the preparations being made for the FIFA World Cup games in Qatar.
Today Qatar is already well ahead when it comes to infrastructure development. In a recent visit by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, he praised Qatar’s infrastructure progress and was the first to travel on the new Doha Metro. Qatar has also constructed the 40,000 capacity Al Wakrah Stadium and seven other stadiums that have been proposed as tournament venues.
Qatar will be hosting more than 1.5 million people who will flock to attend the World Cup. Infantino stated during his visit to Qatar, “The World Cup is a unique opportunity to show the world what this region can offer.”
So what can Qatar offer that will surpass what Russia offered in 2018? Blockchain could be one of the technologies used that could set the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup event apart from any world cup event in the history of the world.
Imagine a World Cup with blockchain in the background. First and foremost if blockchain platform was developed, FIFA World Cup ticketing hubs could seamlessly be one of the nodes on the blockchain. Visitors with FIFA tickets could have their visas on the blockchain ready once they purchased a ticket, along with their passports. Using their mobile phones they could pass through Qatar airport scanning the QR code of the ticket and enter the country, as well as all the games they have purchased without even queing in line.
But that wouldn’t be the only thing. Qatar could even do more with blockchain. Already Qatar has recently announced idinar a digital token backed up by gold. What if they went a step further and launched a stablecoin token pegged to the Qatar Dinar. FIFA visitors could then use this token to purchase goods and services easily, cost effectively, transparently and seamlessly. If we take a look at the journey of a visitor attending FIFA World Cup it would look a bit like this. Using the Dinar Stablecoin on their wallet they could purchase, airline tickets, room nights, metro tickets, entertainment, food and much more simply from their digital wallet and stablecoin. Qatar government could then easily track how much revenues they generated from the FIFA Cup event in a transparent and clear manner while making visitors stay as comfortable, and secure as possible.
But even for those not physically attending the event but watching from the comfort of their homes. What if Qatar used stablecoin for TV stations and satellite operators on the blockchain who want to streamline the games on TV sets or mobile phones? What if all these subscriptions could be carried out on the blockchain and purchased using the stablecoin?
The idea does not seem so far-fetched given the fact that some banks in Qatar have already started to work on blockchain solutions, one example being The Commercial Bank in Qatar. Morever,in UNLOCK’s recent interview with IBM executive Jesse Lund during IBM Think event, Qatar Central bank was named as one of the Central banks that IBM are in discussions with concerning the issuing of Digital currencies.
The best thing about using Blockchain for World Cup in Qatar, is that long after the event is over, the blockchain will stay on and be a viable platform not only for the residents of Qatar but also for any future visitors. It will also have its effects on the startup ecosystem making Qatar a destination of choice for blockchain startups, developers, who will go on to develop more projects and ideas utilizing the available infrastructure that is already in place.
So while stadiums will be dismantled to be erected in other countries, the blockchain ecosystem in Qatar will continue to grow, and foster new business models and a new sharing economy giving Qatar another first to be proud of in the region.