As more areas open up to blockchain technology, we begin to see universities and other public services getting involved as well. This trend has extended into Saudi Arabia, where New York-based blockchain tech company, Blocktech, has partnered with Taibah Valley’s Taibah University in Madinah, where the two will launch the “Blockchain Lab.”
Professor Walaa Alharthi, an “internationally recognized artificial intelligence expert,” will direct the Blockchain Lab, as revealed via a press release. Blockchain Lab will be the first blockchain-dedicated research space in the entire kingdom.
Earlier this year, Dr. Alharthi and her team spent some time at Blocktech to train under Nick Spanos — CEO and Founder of Blocktech and a known blockchain expert. There, Alharthi’s group learned all about oracles, smart contracts, curation markets, and Zap bonding curves.
Alharthi praised the experience:
“Mr. Spanos gave a keynote address at Taibah University earlier this year that opened our eyes to the immediate relevance and importance of blockchain. Our team was honored to be invited to New York to train with an original pioneer of this technology. We are excited to share what we learned with our students while using the vast applications of blockchain technologies to serve the entire region.”
The Blockchain Lab will work with the Taibah University Faculties of Computer Science, Law and Business, with the goal of “catalyzing blockchain adoption in the Middle East.” Blockchain-specific features such as smart contracts will target issues on both a regional and national level, including but not limited to spaces such as “finance, oil and gas, and supply chain management.”
Spanos, who also founded New York’s Bitcoin Center in 2013, claims that blockchain is “disrupting every industry.” He goes on, revealing that his group partners with all sorts of different companies to increase “blockchain literacy” and to solve problems.
“Dr. Alharthi is a trail blazer in her own right,” Spanos continues. “We look forward to working with her so the lab can play a pivotal role in the nascent blockchain ecosystem in the Middle East.”
Cutting Edge Research
With blockchain labs emerging in different spaces around the world, we see top educational institutions looking to engage with them. The team at Taibah Valley’s lab will begin work on “bonding curves for tokenized services, curation markets for data integrity,” alongside Spanos’ Zap Oracle Platform.
Kumail Akbari, a blockchain instructor at Taibah Valley, commented on the lab’s implementation:
“The team at Blocktech is the original and foremost authority in a plethora of blockchain verticals and as such we knew any lab we created would need their involvement. Taibah Valley invests in innovations with clear economic value. At this point, anyone who doesn’t see the enormous potential of blockchain is at risk of being left behind in obscurity.”
Taibah University, founded in 2003, enrolls nearly 70,000 students across all different fields of study. The Blockchain Lab is designed in line with the university’s goal of “meeting market and national developmental needs of high qualified graduates,” and ensuring they’re ready for the world of today. Taibah Valley is the investment division of Taibah University and is run by its CEO, Dr. Abdulrahman Alolayan.
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