DUBAI- The rise of the Internet is forcing businesses to adapt to new strategies. What was once a trusted bricks and mortar system has now been replaced with buying and selling online that can spread across the globe at an incredibly rapid pace, leaving consumers vulnerable to obstacles such as fraud and a violation of their privacy with their information being sold on to companies when making web transactions.
Addressing this imperative topic, The Capital Club, member of the ENSHAA group of companies, invited Juan Llanos, Financial Compliance Expert and Member of the Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Bitcoin Foundation and Bruce Fenton, Founder & President of Atlantic Financial to discuss a new digital currency that could prove to be crucial in helping to create a universal dialogue. The talk was the first of its kind on the Bitcoin topic in the UAE and was moderated by Fouad Jeryes, Co-Founder of CashBasha, the topic of discussion centred around Bitcoin as a digital currency.
Speaking about the event, Emma Cullen, The Capital Club’s General Manager, commented, “Dubai has gone to great lengths to stay ahead of what’s going on in the market both regionally and beyond. The fact that it is still relatively new compared to its western counterparts means that businesses here are open to new ideas and embrace change.
In the UAE, we still value the power of currency, but we’ve adapted to other methods, such as card systems and online trading very quickly, whereas it took more established regions a lot more time to accept the direction that the world is heading towards. This talk, presented by two extremely intelligent and enthusiastic individuals was an excellent opportunity for our Members to gain some perspective on the future of currency as well as the undeniable power of The Internet and how we must adapt. “
Emma went on to remark that this discussion formed part of The Capital Club’s regular series of business -related events aimed at keeping The Club’s Members abreast of the latest technologies and innovative initiatives, as well as provide them with valuable tools and opportunities to help their businesses grow and expand.
To understand how Bitcoin works; it is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically that aren’t printed but produced by people running computers all around the World, using software that solves mathematical equations. Bitcoins are used to buy things online, but what’s most important is that they are decentralised – no single institution controls the Bitcoin network giving consumers peace of mind about privacy of their personal information and who controls their money – ruling out financial institutions and the need for a trusted third party.
Juan Llanos, Financial Compliance Expert and Member of the Regulatory Affairs Committee of the Bitcoin Foundation, said: “Within the five years of its existence, Bitcoin has been vetted, analysed and studied by the smartest engineers in the World – they run your IT systems, financial institutions, automotive companies – they have all analysed Bitcoin and have never had a problem with it, that means something”.
“Of course there are bugs in the system, but conceptually, the design features are flawless. What Bitcoin allows is a distributed consensus; decisions are taken globally by all of the members of the network. It is not focused on one decision carried down to the rest. The way it is programmed and how the software runs is controlled, meaning no one can break the rules.”
According to The Guardian, a recent report published by The Why Forum, a subsidiary of the global Fitch rating agency, found that Bitcoin transactions have increased dramatically over the past year to an average 40m GBP (around 250 AED) per day in February 2014, making the virtual currency a trend that must not go unnoticed by businesses and consumers the world over.
Bruce Fenton, Founder & President of Atlantic Financial added: “Bitcoin is a significant new invention and an idea that did not exist before. It can solve a problem that we have had for hundreds of years – the need for trusted third parties. This new idea is here to stay and it will absolutely transform our world. This is the first event in the entire UAE or the Middle East to talk about this subject. Very soon we’ll all be looking back at this and saying we were aware of it during its early stages, which is a pretty big deal.”
France and London are already starting to see a Bitcoin roll-out where select retailers are accepting this method of payment. The company has also aimed to make it more accessible and understandable, with a user-friendly website that offers tools and informational resources.