Cities Bid For Blockchain Supremacy

January 10, 2018 Avani Desai

Cities Bid For Blockchain Supremacy

Everyone wants to be a blockchain leader – but what does it take and which cities can make good on it? Erika Morphy reports.

There were 308 projects from 58 countries competing for the prestigious City Project Award at the Smart Cities Expo and World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. The award, which recognises the most 'innovative and successful' projects in an urban area, went to Smart Dubai Office for its Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

It is a telling moment both for blockchain – a technology that many business people still viewed as emerging – and for Dubai, which has set a goal of being the first government in the world to conduct all of its transactions in blockchain by 2020.

The early adopters

Dubai is not the first country to promote blockchain. Estonia uses blockchain for many of its state services, according to Avani Desai, executive vice-president at Schellman & Co, a security, privacy and standards compliance assessor. Estonia reports it has already saved 2% of GDP in 2016 through using blockchain, she says.

Dubai, and Estonia before it, illustrate that blockchain technology is gaining momentum, not only in the private sector but in the public one as well. A survey by the World Economic Forum recently found that a majority of IT experts believe 10% of the world’s GDP would be stored on blockchain by 2027, according to Ms Desai, much of it driven by government usage.  

Blockchain advocates speculate which location will get there first to become the de facto blockchain capital of the world. Cities such as London or Singapore, both currently making progress, are certainly contenders, as well as Dubai.

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About the Author

Avani Desai

Avani Desai the President at Schellman. Avani has more than 15 years of experience in IT attestation, risk management, compliance and privacy. Avani’s primary focus is on emerging healthcare issues and privacy concerns for organizations. Named as one of the 2017 Global Leaders in Consulting by Consulting Magazine she has also been featured and published in the ISSA Journal, ITSP Magazine, ISACA Journal, Information Security Buzz, Healthcare Tech Outlook, and many more.

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