Marhaba: Muhammad Salman Anjum and Ahmed Yousif welcome the world to Dubai

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The BSV Global Blockchain Convention finally kicked off in Dubai, the first time it’s been held in the Middle East, and two of the BSV ecosystem’s leaders in the region took to the stage to welcome the world to Dubai.

First on stage was Muhammad Salman Anjum, the Head of the BSV Hub and the Chief Mate at InvoiceMate, an invoice management system built on Bitcoin SV. As the head of the hub, Anjum is charged with leading BSV activities in South Asia and MENA, two regions that account for a third of the global population, which is “a lot of responsibility,” he pointed out.

While the MENA and South Asia regions are vast, Anjum noted that his job of fostering BSV adoption is quite easy as most countries are very focused on digital transformation. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead the way with blockchain adoption, but many other countries such as Bahrain and Qatar are coming up as well.

 Muhammad Salman Anjum on stage

Being based in Dubai, UAE, has especially been advantageous for the Hub, Anjum noted, since “what they [UAE] have done for the blockchain ecosystem in the last five years, there is no match to it.”

At the Hub, Anjum is trying to achieve two main things—ecosystem partnerships and adoption.

With the former, he’s targeting academia to do more research projects on blockchain, association partnerships, partnerships with the governments and regulators since “we’re pro-regulations,” and teaming up with developers so they can build on Bitcoin SV.

The BSV Hub’s efforts have been greatly rewarded. Most recently, it collaborated with the government of the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah, which was to culminate in a blockchain conference on May 22, the first blockchain event in the emirate. However, due to the death of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan two weeks ago, the event was postponed.

The Hub has also partnered with several other public and private entities, including the UAE’s Ministry of HR and Emiratization, Ministry of Energy, University of Sharjah, Department of Community Development, Dubai Police, Al Huda Centre of Islamic Banking & Economics, and more.

Muhammad Salman Anjum on stage GBC

In Pakistan, the Hub, together with the BSV Blockchain Association, held a meeting with the President and five ministers, one of whom is among the speakers at the three-day event. 

Over the next year, Anjum’s goal is to have many more meetups, onboard women ambassadors to increase their inclusion in the space, partner with more incubator programs, organize training programs and workshops and push for metaverse and enterprise adoption.

Yousif: More blockchain, less ‘crypto’

Ahmed Yousif, the Middle East Lead for the BSV Blockchain for Government Initiative, took to the stage next to welcome the audience to Dubai as well. 

Yousif noted that blockchain adoption around the globe is picking up the pace, but “the Middle East is taking the lead.” Middle Eastern governments have especially taken to the technology, making Yousif’s role in the ecosystem all the more important.

Ahmed Yousif on GBC Stage

As he revealed, he was recently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and held a meeting with the Royal Commission for Riyadh City. He discussed the use cases for blockchain in smart cities. The Saudi Green Initiative also came up and how BSV could be integrated.

On smart cities, Yousif pointed out that blockchain has four main use cases—payments, citizens’ identity, data registries, and infrastructure-as-a-service. 

“My personal hope is that by the next Global Blockchain Convention we will be talking more about [blockchain-powered] smart cities and less about cryptos because this is the real use case of blockchain,” Yousif told the audience.

Ahmed Yousif on GBC Stage Dubai

Yousif spearheaded a partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, which led to the birth of the first Saudi Digital Academy “to teach both executives and developers about the uses of blockchain.”

“Our journey in the region has just started and we are going to build this momentum with the help of the ecosystem. BSV blockchain is here to disrupt the way we share data and to promote value-exchange protocol,” he concluded.

Watch the BSV Global Blockchain Convention Dubai 2022 Day 1 here:

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