The third Blockchain Club Gathering organised by the Blackchain Club Oman and the SQU Blockchain Group functioning under the Communication & Information Research Centre at Sultan Qaboos University was marked by the big turnout of stakeholders including representatives from the government bodies, investors, future entrepreneurs and the ITA, the regulator of this technology in Oman. The gathering was held at the University on 7 May 2018 in the presence of HH Sayyid Taymoor bin Tariq Al Said, Honorary President of the Blockchain Club Oman, H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, the Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University, and a number of dignitaries including members of the Royal family. This gathering comes as part of the Club’s efforts to promote its activities among higher educational institutions in Oman.
H.E. Abdul Salam Bin Mohammed Al Morshedi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Blockchain Club, gave a brief introduction about the Club’s activities in Oman. The Club was established during the Blockchain Oman Symposium held in November 2017 with the aim of injecting momentum and awareness among the Omani society about Blockchain as a step for continues future digital transformation. H.E. Al Morshedi gave an overview of the economic impacts resulting from novel technologies including the Blockchain technology and how to make the best use of such platforms for transformation of the economy of the nation. He elaborated on initial coin offerings (ICO), a type of crowdfunding tool conducted entirely on the Blockchain that would help to establish successful student and entrepreneurial start-ups in Oman.
Blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all financial and non-financial transactions such as supply-chain and smart-contracting. It allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping and it appears in a variety of commercial applications as well. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions.
At the gathering, H.H. Azzan Kais Al Said, gave the keynote address. He presented an overview of their start-up Kenda Software and the lessons he learned in developing the venture. “As an early adaptor of Blockchain technology, Kenda Softwares has a deep background and insights to share with its associate clients. More than two years ago, Kenda softwares developed its first Ethereum powered mobile application, first geo-caching platform in cryptocurrency realm”, he said. Aside from mobile applications and Blockchain, Kenda Software has diversified its portfolio into Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality gaming, 3D printing and cryptocurrency mining. The presentation by H.H. Azzan Kais Al Said, focussing on his own entrepreneurial experience, aroused great interest among the students and future entrepreneurs gathered at the forum. For most of them it was an eye-opener on developing own start-ups independently without relying much on support from government entities or private sectors.
Dr. Ammar Darwish Al Obaidani, President of the Blockchain Club Oman said that the Club would be organizing gatherings of people interested in this technology across Oman as the government has demonstrated a clear and decisive interest in using Blockchain technology in its digitalisation efforts. He said that reaching out to students and future entrepreneurs is key to attain economic progress with the help of emerging and new technologies. “The first Blockchain student society was established in SQU. Now student societies function in Higher College of Technology and the College of Applies Sciences, Sohar. Currently we are in the process of establishing student societies in Sohar University, Nizwa University, Caledonian College, GUTech and other higher educational institutions across the country”, he said.
At the gathering, Aisha Hamoud Al Saidi, a student from College of Applies Sciences, Sohar, introduced her award winning graduation project titled “National employer records: User experience improvement using Blockchain technology”.
In his closing remarks, H.E. Abdul Salam Al Morshedi announced a competition for Omani students and entrepreneurs to develop an app for voting using the Blockchain technology. The completion will be organized by the Blockchain Club in association with Blockchain Solutions and Services Company (BSS). The winners would be given financial rewards. There is a chance that the Blockchain company would buy the successful app which can lead to issue of shares of the company to the winner who develops the app.