Web3: Transforming the Middle East business landscape
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Web3: Transforming the Middle East business landscape

Web3: Transforming the Middle East business landscape

The ability for blockchain to be adopted at a national level is a huge opportunity for it to step into the spotlight as the rightful pioneer in the Web3 space

Web3 Middle East

“Perhaps more than ever,” wrote Matt Turck in his Data & AI Landscape report in 2019, around the time that the Cambridge Analytica case broke, “privacy issues jumped to the forefront of public debate (and) the fact that many of those issues were related to Facebook, a service known to billions, probably played an important role in sensitising a much broader group of people around the world to the severity of the issues.”

As has become quite apparent in the last decade, Web2 faults and foundational issues were always going to show at some point or another. The concentration of data in the hands of tech behemoths that had money and connections didn’t take long to start showing its dark side and its very real downfalls. This was evidenced by the Cambridge Analytica case, but also by the more recent 2,000 data breaches reported for the first half of 2022, concerning huge companies like Samsung, DoorDash, LastPass, Twitter, Uber, Neopets, Marriott, Cash App, and even Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

Web3 evangelists believe that now is the time to bring the power of data back where it belongs, with end users, so that a decentralised system can emerge and in turn, eliminate the need for middle-men like Google (Alphabet), Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and and many other companies attempting to dominate, censor and govern the Internet.

In terms of security, new technology will bring together all the concentrated data with the help of the internet-of-things and convert it into information that simply cannot be hacked or duplicated. Businesses will become more transparent and highly user-centric, as new parameters of safety and regulations allow tech firms and startups to be able to compete on a global scale. Blockchain, as such, works within a borderless approach. It knows no divisions and no nationalities, which will allow society to flourish into a truly global community.

Spotlight on the Middle East and North Africa region

For countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, in particular, the ability for blockchain to be adopted at a national level is a huge opportunity to step into the spotlight as rightful pioneers in the Web3 space. Compared to their US and European counterparts, legal frameworks in the MENA region are better organised, easier and quicker to understand, and not as overly regulated.

Starting with Dubai, for example, it’s easy to see that the city is on a mission to become a global hub for Web3 and expand towards new and innovative economic models. In an effort to accelerate the city’s digital transformation even further, the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy announced that “the formation of the Dubai Digital Assets Business Group will support the digital asset companies ecosystem in the UAE and the Middle East region, and nurture the digital innovative business infrastructure”.

Even Microsoft has recently opened up its activities in the direction of decentralisation and has entered into a partnership with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, a metaverse accelerating programme currently gaining quick speed. Th strategy is aimed at “putting the city in the top 10 metaverse economies of the world, supporting more than 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030, and adding $4bn to Dubai’s economy in five years”.

And while more global eyes land on cryptocurrencies and NFTs, as they continue on their meteoric rise in mainstream popularity that started only a few years ago, nowhere is more poised to dominate than the Middle East and North Africa.

Farbod Sadeghian is the founder at artèQ and Qlindo

Read: Insights: The role of artificial intelligence and blockchain in Web3

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