Blockchain needs to be useful. This is the main message that BSV Blockchain Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen and BSV blockchain companies in attendance hammered home throughout the two-day AIBC Summit in Dubai.
The attendance numbers were strong, well into the thousands, an accurate reflection of how Dubai has become a major hotspot for blockchain and “crypto” companies. While there is still some hype to sort through with digital currencies, NFTs and the other buzzwords du jour, the daily “BSV Hour” on the main stage, hosted by Nguyen, was a true eye opener for many.
“It was a real pleasure to share the stage with Jimmy and all the amazing people. Dubai is a centre of a beating heart of blockchain at the moment,” said Vasilisa Marinchuk, Director of International Relations & Engagements, Centre Blockchain de Catalunya.
Fellow BSV Hour speaker Daniel Lipshitz, CEO of Gap600 and Change Digital Commerce, spoke on his stablecoin issuance platform, primarily to support BSV applications. Muhammad Salman Anjum, Chief Mate of InvoiceMate talked on the integrity of invoicing, the “know your invoice” concept and how InvoiceMate provides blockchain-based solutions for both.
The “metaverse” and NFTs were also a huge topic of discussion at the AIBC, also covered during the BSV Hour. Dr. Mohamed Al Hemairy, Head, Technology Transfer Office & Chair, Research Outreach, talked on his passion for using the metaverse environment to pass down Arab culture and tradition to the younger generation. The gaming industry was also identified as a perfect fit for the metaverse environment and NFTs.
“Now we are transforming from a free to play towards play to earn model and that is where The Game Storm and BSV blockchain comes in together,” BSV Hour speaker Raheel Iqbal, Co-Founder of The Game Storm Studio, shared.
“Everyone is really looking forwards towards NFTs, towards play to earn model, towards gaming and blockchain. So gaming is the key bridging the gap and that is where we are working with BSV because BSV is really, really cheap if you compare it with other blockchains where gas fees are so high that now people are thinking about going off chain rather than be on the chain,” Iqbal pointed out.
While we are seeing innovation happening within the blockchain space, there is still a lot of confusion out there, not to mention scams and “get rich quick” schemes. BSV Hour speaker, Global Tech Entrepreneur & Innovation Expert Dana Al Salem, emphasized the importance of focusing on the utility of blockchain and the amazing solutions that can be built on it.
“My frustration is that today we’re still in a very early stage of blockchain and therefore there isn’t much knowledge, especially when someone doesn’t come from the tech sector and there is a confusion between blockchain and crypto,” she said.
“I think it’s about using blockchain to do good. And I don’t mean that in the sort of trite way. I mean, actually helping streamline processes, create transparency, try to reduce corruption in certain countries. So this is what we believe in using blockchain for,” Al Salem emphasized.
A number of the AIBC attendees were in fact Dubai locals, including Al Salem, Anjum and several others speaking on the BSV Hour panels, underscoring the region’s label as a hotbed for blockchain tech.
“I’m seeing the revolution, the start of it was enterprise blockchain applications. And then now for the last two years, I’m seeing that every day there is some new regulatory reforms framework coming in. So it’s becoming a digital asset hub as well,” Anjum confirmed.
“The journey has been very smooth. It started with enterprise and government applications. Now it’s all kinds of applications of blockchain. Not to forget about the metaverse itself. So now a lot of things are happening in the space of blockchain in Dubai,” he said.
“Yeah, it’s completely insane. Everybody is moving here. Dubai’s ‘The New Hope’, especially for blockchain and crypto and digital currency. Digital economy people are looking for a new place and the energy in Dubai has changed,” Dereck Hoogenkamp, Chairman of Yalla Limited and PalmFusion Technology added.
Dustin Plantholt, Forbes Monaco Editor, “Crypto” Host & Crypterns.com Founder, also known as “The Count of Monte Crypto,” moderated a number of sessions at the AIBC and is a huge fan of Dubai and the AIBC in general.
“You know, this has been probably one of the best events that I’ve ever attended. Eman, his leadership, Emily and the team and Zach, what they’ve done, if you’ve ever had an event before, I will tell you it is really hard, is really tough. But it’s the smiles on people’s faces. It is something that is impactful,” Plantholt shared.
One of the AIBC’s most high-profile speakers was Akon, a Senegalese-American R&B singer, also Co-Founder and chairman of Akoin, a digital currency designed to empower African entrepreneurs and citizens. Akon also felt the amazing energy in Dubai and was delighted to be a part of the AIBC vibe.
“I love the event. The AIBC’s been doing some great stuff. I’ve been here for a couple of shows, this is our first one in Dubai that I’ve been a part of,” he shared.
“The energy here, it has been amazing. The group of people coming together here has been really vibrant and open and collaborative. I think it’s going to grow and become bigger,” Akon said.
“This is the standard of what I want Africa to feel like in the next 10, 15 years,” he added.
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