CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, senior market analyst at London based IG Group told Arab News : ''They [cryptocurrencies] aren't doomed, they're just going to change the world overnight.

Bitcoin still has the heft to remain part of the financial world, but others will probably fade or evolve overtime, like the airlines and car firms of old.''

Despite the Cryptocurrency crash, most observers agree that blockchain, the technology that underpins the new tokens, will continue to spur public and private investment, and perhaps nowhere more so than in the Gulf.

Here, there have been some major developments in 2018.

Abu Dhabi-headquartered AI Hilal Bank has carried out a block-chain transaction for an Islamic bond worth $500 million.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company [ADNOC] is collaborating with IBM to pilot a blockchain supply chain system; and KSA's central bank has signed an agreement with US fintech company Ripple to run a pilot project to help banks settle payments using blockchain technology.

Najam Kidwai, dubai based investor and entrepreneur said :

''Cities like Dubai have bet very heavily on blockchain. A lot of proof of concept work is going on as Dubai a paperless government, so there is an initiative here called  Smart Dubai, driven by the ruler of Dubai. There is a desire for transparency and speed in government.''

At its heart, blockchain is a relatively straightforward concept. It's a ledger of blocks of information, such as transactions or agreements, that are stored across a network of computers.

This information is stored chronologically, can be viewed by a community of users, and is not usually managed by a central authority such as a bank or a government.

Once published, the information can't be changed.

Gartner analyst Rajesh Kandaswamy told Arab News  that even though speculators had poured billions into cryptocurrencies, that didn't invalidate the underlying blockchain technology.

''Blockchain could allow various parties in a supply chain to interact without a middleman - and for all the records to be secured in one place. That allows for further streamlining, more efficiency and cost reductions,'' said Kandaswamy.

The honor and serving of the latest Operational Research on Cryptos and Markets and Future continues. The World Students Society thanks Arab News.


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