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Going Green and Smart with Blockchain

Certainly one of the hot topics of any business forum or technology summits in the recent time is Blockchain. Not to be undone with the enormous possibilities, some progressive governments all over world are also mulling how to use this technology for “greening” and “smartization”.  Yes, going green in the balance sheet or getting green environmentally depends upon how smart the companies and governments adapt and embrace technological possibilities and opportunities such as Blockchain!


Confusing trends and air about concepts of Blockchain are slowly getting clear and now there are growing consensus in accepting that Blockchain has potential much beyond financial innovations like Bitcoin. Blockchain is a distributed ledger platform that holds information as a shared and continually reconciled database and Blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and secure.


How much will be investments and focus surrounding Blockchain in near future?  World Economic Forum estimates 10% of global GDP will be stored in Blockchain by 2027.  As on example in the regional context, UAE market forecast for Blockchain is about USD $300mn, according to preliminary studies.


As always, Dubai is the front runner for embracing such advancements, and Dubai Government has planned to process 100 million documents without paper each year, as part of the recently launched Dubai Blockchain Strategy and Smart Government initiatives. Sensing the related business opportunities, majors such as SAP are now concentrating on providing “digital innovation solutions” in MENA region. SAP has come up with a ready-to-use Blockchain technology and SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain service, “SAP Leonardo “ which supports the easy-to-use and low-risk Blockchain as a Service, as detailed by Tayfun Topkoc, MD of SPA for UAE and Oman. This solution is expected to catapult local SMEs in frenzied action for providing more innovative services.


Why SMEs? SMEs in MENA region are very dynamic with great appetite for digital transformation and are keen on investing in technology as a competitive differentiator. As a special case, Expo2020 Dubai will spend 20% of the total spend in local and international SMEs.  Some of the industry verticals that will be transformed by Blockchain are logistics and supply chain, government and public registries, distribution and sales of utility services such and energy and gas and of course banking and financial services for cross-border transactions. Similarly, neighboring Saudi Arabia has planned to boost the SME sector in the country in its Vision 2030 agenda and recently established $1.1bn fund aimed at developing its venture capital industry and support the creation of innovative SMEs.


New technologies such as Blockchain are powerful drivers of empowering SME sectors in every industry and global markets. Government initiatives for smart cities and green practices by enterprises will further necessitate innovation and productivity enhancement by SMEs, while cost and security concerns will certainly remain as a key concern.


Will the Blockchain foster Smartness and Green or will it black out? Time will tell.


-Ramamurthy Venkatesh

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