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KFAS hosts symposium on the application of blockchain technology

Oct 07, 2018

KFAS hosted a symposium titled “The Application of Blockchain Technology” moderated by the award-winning publisher, entrepreneur and Editor in Chief of Blockchain News, Richard Kastelein, on October 1, 2018 at KFAS HQ in Sharq.

Stemming from KFAS’s strategic vision to encourage science, technology and innovation in Kuwait, the symposium was held to increase awareness and educate the community about this emerging technology and how it can be applied in Kuwait by showcasing some real examples from within Kuwait.

The symposium featured a panel discussion with local technology experts and entrepreneurs  that included the Central Bank of Kuwait’s Executive Director of banking Operations and Information Technology, Anwar Al-Ghaith, the Executive Chairman of One Global Group, Mohammed Al-Rashidi, the Co-Founder of East Chain Co., Anwaar Al-Mahmeed, and the Founder and Managing Director of Expit, Khaled Bastaki.

With over 200 people attending, the symposium started with a keynote talk covering blockchain’s history and basics, then discussed examples of actual use cases from around the world. 

Kastelein kicked off the symposium by explaining how blockchain technology uses a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. 

Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. He described how blockchain technology makes data resistant to modification, as it is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable, secure and permanent way.

“The blockchain is about truth,” Kastelein said. “It’s about decentralizing trust and taking it from the hands of a few and into the hands of many, distributed by cyberspace, gamed by code and made honest by algorithms — and it’s going to affect all industries. It has the potential to be as powerful and effective as the Internet.”

The panelists discussed how blockchain technology can be used in several sectors in Kuwait including healthcare, oil and gas, banking and many more whether in supply chain or transactions.

Answering an audience question about Kuwait’s experience with blockchain technology, Anwar Al-Ghaith said, “CBK is progressive when it comes to technologies that deal with financial services, including blockchain. As recently, CBK has made major changes and replacements to the bank infrastructure in order to adapt the technology advancements. Moreover, CBK is progressing with the local banks in one of the key strategic projects which will apply the blockchain technology expected to be ready by the end of 2019.  Nevertheless, CBK is reviewing at present one of the solutions that it depends on the blcokchain technology aiming to foster & enhance the remittances service over the local banks to be faster in a cost effective manner.

East Chain co-founder Anwaar Al-Mahmeed said, “I believe that blockchain is the future of business around the world and can be used in almost every sector.”

“However, before we can start applying blockchain on a larger scale, we need to better understand the technology and develop it further. We also need to increase awareness and educate people and businesses about this emerging technology, as most people are still not familiar with it, and those who are familiar are skeptical about it and have many security concerns. We need to invest more time and efforts in blockchain to unleash its real potentials.”