UAE Bitcoin Conference Aims to Make Mid-East a Fintech Hub

abu dhabi UAEabu dhabi UAE

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The Bitcoin Conference Abu Dhabi organizers hope to make the UAE a center for fintech, Bitcoin and blockchain innovation in the Middle East with its upcoming conference in Abu Dhabi on December 8, 2016.

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In a press release, conference organizers noted that government agencies and businesses have expressed early interest in fintech, with over 30 firms and organizations starting work on fintech proof-of-concepts in 2016.

Furthermore, financial authority Abu Dhabi Global Market released a consultation paper in 2016 outlining plans to “create a sandbox environment for fintech under which startups would be allowed to work under a flexible regulatory framework for up to two years,” the press release stated.

Blockchain Conference Abu Dhabi: Bringing Government and Business Leaders Together in the UAE

Abu DhabiAbu DhabiTaking advantage of this early momentum, Bitcoin Conference Abu Dhabi organizers want to bring attention to blockchain technology, showing regional business influencers its potential impact on global markets. Calling it “the most anticipated technology event” in Abu Dhabi, organizers told press that the conference will cover the following topics:

  • Blockchain technology and opportunities for innovation
  • Blockchain implementation in the spheres of:
    • Trade finance and international payments
    • Smart contracts
    • Capital markets
    • Insurance
    • Government
    • Control
    • Industries

Beyond the official conference topics, attendees will reportedly have the opportunity to network with each other, allowing them to make new connections and learn more about how the blockchain industry works.

According to the press release, the Abu Dhabi event is catered towards banks, government officials entrepreneurs and other industry leaders.

Sponsored by HashCoins and Infosys Finacle, tickets for the conference start at $500 USD. Attendees have an option of purchasing a $1,000 VIP package that includes a two-night hotel stay, a pick up service from airport to hotel, and a post-conference dinner with the speakers and other VIP guests.

Tech, Bitcoin and the Middle East

The UAE has long been a financial hub in the Middle East, with a booming oil industry and a growing technology market. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the country and serves as a financial center for the petroleum trade and other budding industries in the region.

The national government of the UAE has recently taken interest in promoting growth in science and technology, launching the “UAE Vision 2021.”

This plan, according to the government’s website, “will form the pillars of a knowledge-based, highly productive and competitive economy driven by entrepreneurs in a business-friendly environment where public and private sectors form effective partnerships.”

In the Bitcoin industry specifically, several ventures have cropped up in the UAE, with varying degrees of success.

Dubai-based Igot launched in 2014, reportedly becoming the first bitcoin exchange in the UAE. Since then, the exchange has provided exchange services to the area, calling itself “the fastest growing Bitcoin exchange in the world,” and advertising zero percent transaction fees on its website.

YellowPay, on the other hand, ultimately failed to provide bitcoin-based financial services to the UAE and broader Middle East region. Also founded in 2014, YellowPay pushed bitcoin as an e-commerce solution before shutting down in 2016 “for undisclosed reasons,” according to CoinDesk.

Do you think this conference will make Bitcoin more prominent in the Middle East? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Bitcoin Conference Abu Dhabi.

Evan FaggartEvan Faggart

    Evan Faggart

    Evan is the Senior Editor of Bitcoinist.net. He has a bachelor’s degree in History with minors in Economics and Political Science. When he’s not acting like he knows what he’s doing in the newsroom, Evan is most likely playing video games. Follow Evan on Twitter @EvanFaggart.

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