Saudi Arabia Teams Up Brooklyn Startup ConsenSys
- Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), recently teamed up with Brooklyn-based blockchain technology startup ConsenSys
- The oil-rich state and ConsenSys worked together to host a 3-day ‘Blockchain Bootcamp’
- The bootcamp event provided 3-days of blockchain technology training, designed to help people learn how to build their own decentralized apps
Saudi Arabia loves blockchain technology. In fact, in mid-February, Saudi Arabia signed a deal with California based Ripple. One which has since resulted in Saudi Arabia’s central bank, becoming the first in the world to use Ripple payment technology to settle payments in and out of the kingdom.
However, Saudi Arabia isn’t just embracing blockchain technology from outwith the kingdom.
As detailed by Saudi Arabia news, the country’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, recently hosted a ‘blockchain bootcamp’ supported by Brooklyn based startup ConsenSys.
Saudi Arabia’s ConsenSys Blockchain Bootcamp Explained
Powered by Ethereum, Brooklyn startup ConsenSys is a decentralized application production studio. More specifically, one which allows individuals and businesses to build decentralized, commercial market-ready applications, on the Ethereum network.
At the recent 3-day bootcamp in Saudi Arabia, individuals and businesses were invited to learn about what blockchain technology is and how decentralized apps can be of benefit to business and industry. As a result, the Middle East kingdom seems determined to sponsor domestic blockchain and FinTech innovation.
Sponsoring the Creation of a New ‘Digital Environment’
According to Saudi Arabia’s MCIT, events like the recent 3-day ConsenSys powered bootcamp, are part of a wider vision to create a new ‘digital environment’ in Saudi Arabia by 2020. As part of the recent bootcamp, participants subsequently benefited from instruction in:
- A concise overview of blockchain technology and it’s many business applications
- Introduction to key concepts in blockchain technology such as mining algorithms, distributed peer to peer technologies, and smart contracts
- An introduction into the value of digital tokens, certain blockchain limitations, Hyperledger development, and smart contract creation
Will Saudi Arabia Host Similar Bootcamp Events in Future?
May’s ConsenSys bootcamp in Riyadh, was a considered a ‘pilot’ event by Saudi Arabia’s MCIT. Many similar bootcamps and blockchain technology events will, however, likely follow. What is more, there are some very good reasons why blockchain innovation could flourish in Saudi Arabia.
- As cited by Lina Hediah, executive director of ConsenSys MENA, Saudi Arabia has huge untapped human resource potential. – Particularly with regard to the country’s youth
- Unlike some other nation states, Saudi Arabia has publicly affirmed that it has no plans to ban cryptocurrency.
- At present, Saudi Arabia is advocating a ‘soft’ approach to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. – Specifically in order to attract investment and foster innovation.
The only question, of course, is will Saudi Arabia meet its 2020 target to become a world leader in blockchain technology and innovation? Or will the country become a melting pot instead, of talent sourced predominantly from outwith of the country?