This seminar was organised by Afridi & Angell in association with the ACC Middle East.
Blockchain technology is attracting the attention of governments, business people and consumers. The headline-grabbing cryptocurrency Bitcoin is the best known application, but the implications and potential uses of blockchain technology, and, more broadly, distributed ledger technology (DLT), are much broader than bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The Dubai government said it will go paperless by 2020 by moving to a blockchain-based transaction system. Abu Dhabi Global Markets is encouraging FinTech developments which include a strong focus on DLT with initiatives like RegLab. Initial coin (or sometimes called “token”) offerings were conducted in many countries before regulators stepped in to treat them in a similar manner to regular securities offerings. Sweden and Japan have made public their nascent intention to replace their fiat currency with a country-specific cryptocurrency.
The initiatives, developments, and disruptions will continue in earnest, and interaction with blockchain or DLT is inevitable. It will be important to understand the issues that these developments raise and to ensure you are protected.
At this seminar, James Bowden, partner, and Alexandra Aikman, ex associate at Afridi & Angell, gave an overview of blockchain (and DLT) and cryptocurrency, why it matters to business, and the state of the UAE regulatory regime.