For the longest time, blockchain technology has taken the backseat as millions of people globally focused on digital assets, mostly for speculation. This is gradually changing, and as Dana Al Salem told CoinGeek Backstage, the Middle East is leading in this shift as the region integrates the technology at breakneck speed. The secret for the region has been the harmonious partnership between the government and the private sector, she revealed.
“Nothing makes me prouder than to see the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) especially places like Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and even Saudi really starting to revolutionize the government sector, the agricultural sector, the education sector, and they are applying technology and innovation,” Dana, who is from Kuwait, told CoinGeek Backstage reporter Becky Liggero.
Everyone in the region is playing their part—from the governments to the private entities—and a unique outcome is that as the companies innovate, they create a feedback loop which allows the governments to tweak their policies to foster innovation, she noted.
“It’s a very hand-in-hand kind of approach that other countries are sorely lacking, and they are not progressing as quickly,” Dana said.
Dana has been in the tech industry for over three decades now and is most renowned as a founding member of Yahoo! Europe. She currently serves as the CEO and chairman of tech services agency FanFactory and an advisor to Spice VC.
When she was starting out, the number of women in tech was quite small but as she told CoinGeek Backstage, things are changing. She has been passionately fighting to have more women in tech, stating that women-led companies have been found to do even better than their male-led counterparts. She is currently working on three funds that focus on investing in women, Dana said.
Dana was speaking on the sidelines of AIBC Dubai, an event at which she shared the stage with BSV Blockchain Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen for a panel discussion. As she revealed, she and Jimmy have been working on making blockchain useful to help companies, communities and governments.
While blockchain can change the world, there still lacks enough education and knowledge for it to make an impact, she believes. For one, blockchain is almost always mistaken for digital assets. The best way to change this mindset is by showing what exactly blockchain is capable of, Dana stated.
“It’s about using blockchain to do good—helping streamline processes, create transparency, and reduce corruption in certain countries. This is what we believe in using blockchain for.”
Dana will be one of the speakers at the BSV Global Blockchain Convention which kicks off on May 24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai. She will be part of a panel discussion on how blockchain can foster digital transformation for nations, sharing the stage with other experts including Dr. Basim Zafar, the chairman of Experts Vision Consulting.
You can book your spot at this year’s biggest blockchain event here.
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