How will the National Blockchain Blueprint help the development of Qatar’s IT industry?
Blockchain has grown in popularity and attention in recent years, offering a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that records transactions in a secure and transparent manner. The technology has a number of applications across various industries, including finance, healthcare, logistics and more. As such, countries around the world, including Qatar, are exploring the potential of blockchain technology. The College of Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), as well as the College of Engineering at Qatar University (QU), and the Communications and Regulatory Authority jointly developed the National Blockchain Blueprint, with the aim of defining the requirements and incentives necessary to adopt blockchain technology in Qatar. The plan has several goals, including facilitating the emergence of startups and new companies, identifying successful methods through pilot projects, promoting creativity and innovation, and upgrading infrastructure to enable a favorable environment for blockchain technology. One of the main recommendations in the plan is to encourage the development of pilot projects in priority sectors such as Fintech, Energy and Health. Since blockchain technology is still relatively new and experimental, it is important to test its feasibility, identify technical issues and investigate potential solutions, and determine the costs associated with switching to a blockchain-based solution. Pilot projects provide opportunities to achieve these goals while validating the benefits of switching from a centralized to a decentralized solution. Another way to increase the adoption of blockchain technology is to provide an adequate incubation environment for promising blockchain startups. Qatar has made significant efforts to create a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem by establishing key institutions and organizations to assist entrepreneurs, including Qatar Development Bank (QDB), Center for Entrepreneurship (Qatar University), Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), Digital Incubation Center (DIC), Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and Qatar Foundation (QF). These organizations offer resources and support for entrepreneurs to develop and launch their business ideas. One recommendation is to create a new consortium-based funding organization that involves all stakeholders to promote blockchain-based startups and businesses. In addition to supporting start-ups, the plan aims to promote creativity and innovation in this field by proposing upgrades to the country’s infrastructure, importing specialized expertise and skills, and including new technologies in the national education system’s curricula. Qatar is already poised to become a hub for advanced research, including in artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. The country has invested heavily in advanced information and communication technology infrastructure and supported the opening of a regional data center offering public cloud services. To facilitate the deployment and testing of new blockchain applications, one consideration may be to host a cloud-based high performance. blockchain platform to accelerate prototyping and testing. Another recommendation is to create a physically distributed blockchain network between various institutions, including ministries and universities, which can act as a test bed that can also host actual blockchain applications. By having a distributed network, blockchain-based solutions can be tested in a real environment, and risks and potential opportunities can be identified. The National Blockchain Blueprint can assist in the development of an innovative IT industry in Qatar. By following the recommendations, the country can promote the use of blockchain technology in priority sectors, create a favorable environment for blockchain start-ups and businesses, and upgrade the infrastructure to facilitate the deployment and testing of new blockchain applications. Ultimately, this could lead to a number of benefits for the Qatari economy, including increased efficiency, transparency and security.l Dr. Mohamed Abdallah and
- Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), was founded in 2010 as a research-intensive university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region, while having global impact. Located in Education City, HBKU is committed to building and cultivating human capacity through an enriching academic experience, innovative ecosystem and unique partnerships. HBKU delivers interdisciplinary bachelor’s and graduate programs through its colleges, and provides opportunities for research and scholarships through its institutes and centers. For more information about HBKU, visit www.hbku.edu.qa