One of the biggest concerns of economies, businesses and individuals in a globalized era is uncertainty or trust. Humans have always striven to find tools and ways to increase the trust to exchange all kinds of values and transact with each other. Till now the system to lower uncertainty and facilitate trade was with centralized formal institutions like banks, marketplaces or governments. These institutions provided a secure and robust system to protect assets and set organizational limits. They govern trade and exchange among nations, businesses, societies and citizens. They, however, have lagged behind the digital transformation of the economies. Thus, today there is a need for a technology that can fundamentally rather than radically change the way we exchange values and transact.
A paradigm shift in the economy called Blockchain might be the answer to such problems. Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. The ledger itself can also be programmed to trigger transactions automatically. Bitcoin is one of the outcomes of implementing Blockchain. Blockchain is not limited to financial instruments such as Bitcoin or fin-tech but can be applied to domains such as business, governance. Implementing Blockchain technology to Healthcare, Travel, Real Estate, and Energy, voting can bring higher efficiency and increased transparency. Airlines can provide its assets such as seats of cargo to customers directly without costly intermediaries. Real estate can bring absolute transparency by providing Blockchain based immutable verifiable public ledger for all real estate transactions. A Blockchain-based voting system can secure voter registration and identification and also provide a robust verifiable voting system which the voter can use to ensure that his/her vote is recorded correctly. A Blockchain based tax processing system can ensure higher transparency for both the payer and the government resulting in reduced costs and increased participation.
While the impact of Blockchain is enormous, it is still in its infancy. It will take quite some years for it to become a substantial part of economic systems but Dubai government has already set the ball rolling in this direction. The Emirates government has decided to bring visa applications, bill payments and license renewals under Blockchain technology by 2020. The government has taken concrete steps towards realisation of this goal. Dubai Land Development(DLD) has already launched Blockchain based system for recording all real-estate transactions and linking them with the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), the telecommunications system, and various property-related bills.
So, what does all this hold for the current generation of executives who want to leverage Blockchain for shifting their business or transaction systems? What kind of framework is suitable for Blockchain adoption and how to leverage the framework without disrupting the legacy systems such that all role holders, from investors to customers have minimal constraints while transferring to the new framework? These are some of the pertinent question that need to be answered as the shift in the economic systems and transactions have already started and the early adopters of this technology stand to gain the most.
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