(With contributions by Hadi Khatib)
First came the internet craze, then the smartphone craze. Next, it’s time for blockchain and cryptocurrency to take center stage.
Blockchain is finding its way into all sorts of widespread applications. From real estate, to travel, to luxury and even healthcare, the sky is the limit.
“Blockchain is truly a revolutionary technology that helps ensure transparency and traceability like never before,” Ihab Al Yaman, Managing Director of Data Mining Platform MEmob, told AMEinfo. “We are at the tip of a profound transformation of business. Like previous shifts adoption is slow, then it accelerates.”
Julien Hawari, CEO of InfakCorp, the first Islamic Fintech Ecosystem, shared a similar opinion:
“We are at a very early stage. It is like the dial-up modem before the internet became what it is today. Adoption is increasing as corporations are testing blockchain-enabled solutions. You have to keep in mind that more than just the tech, you need a different mindset to operate this technology. Businesses need not only to master the tech but the new mindset in business operation it creates.” Hawari also serves as Advisor – Capital Crypto Bank – Crypto Advisory Firm
Previously, we shared with you 4 exciting blockchain projects you should keep an eye out for. Here are 4 more noteworthy projects you should know about.
Gaming… on the blockchain?
The endless applications of blockchain never cease to surprise. Soon, we’ll even be able to game on the blockchain.
Blockade Games, the startup behind the upcoming cyberpunk role-playing game Neon District, has entered into a strategic partnership with SludgeFeed, a startup crypto news website that covers the blockchain and gaming industries, to drive forward the mainstream adoption of blockchain gaming.
Through the new partnership, Blockade Games and SludgeFeed will co-promote the December 16 Early Access launch of Neon District: Season One, which will feature a full single-player campaign that allows players to battle and progress through a sci-fi dystopia while earning in-game items.
“While crypto-fueled gaming is still in its infancy, the gameplay and design quality of Neon District, as well as its availability on Steam, offer an opportunity for us to help bridge the worlds of traditional and blockchain gaming,” added Tom Stankewicz, co-creator and Editor in Chief of SludgeFeed.
By leveraging blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the partnership will also pioneer new ways for traditional news and media brands to expand their audience and revenue streams through unique in-game content and user engagement.
Tokenizing real estate in Saudi Arabia
One of the companies looking to revolutionize the Saudi real estate sector through blockchain is Avrio, the first Shariah-compliant Real Estate Funding & Solutions Provider for BlockChain technologies in Saudi Arabia.
Founded in 2017, Avrio understood what the real estate investment landscape is like. The industry is highly capital-intensive and less liquid than the stock market. Its investor universe is comprised of large professional players such as banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and high net worth individuals, with many entry barriers preventing smaller investors from reaping returns at the same level as the professional players.
As a reaction to this, Avrio came to be. Their platform combines traditional professional real estate investing with blockchain technology and allows anyone at any income level to invest in real estate and to select assets in the most cost-effective manner. Investors get the benefits of a new cryptocurrency called Avrio tokens, the value of which is backed by tangible real estate assets, thus providing them with strong downside protection against volatility.
The Avrio platform focuses on transparency and legal property ownership, where strong returns are achieved from rental income, profits from sale and participation in construction projects and additional revenue from services offered on the platform.
Already tokenized your business? INVAO is looking for you
Tokens are financial products that allow companies to make illiquid assets liquid and investors can take advantage of the unbanked opportunities to tap into peer-to-peer network blockchain, and secure potentially rewarding outcomes. Today, many companies are undergoing this tokenization, bringing their company assets to the next level of trading.
Liechtenstein-based blockchain investment fund company INVAO is after these businesses and has taken a strategic decision to move their operation to the UAE following strong backings from local partners.
INVAO is set to play a crucial role in the implementation of the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, which is why INVAO execs Frank Gessner and Frank Wagner came to an exclusive arrangement with The Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, the SEED Group, as official international partners in the UAE.
The two entities started working closely as exclusive partners for blockchain investments earlier this year to help raise funds, and support and encourage the blockchain industry in the country.
INVAO is currently working on investing in blockchain products and raising funds for their IVO tokens whilst attracting more investors from the UAE. Through INVAO’s blockchain asset pool, the UAE and global investors can easily gain access to a portfolio of blockchain assets and crypto currencies.
Etihad to offer services on blockchain platform Winding TreeAirlines, hotels, and other players in the travel industry have long relied on Global Distribution Systems (GDS) such as Sabre and Amadeus, computer networks that handle hotel room and flight inventories and facilitate transactions between all these parties. However, GDS’s are relatively expensive – and even somewhat outdated.
This has pushed many airlines to look for an alternative, and this year, Abu-Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has put a foot through that door. The alternative they opted for? Blockchain-based travel platform Winding Tree, which has seen other major airlines jump ship to its service, including Air Canada, Air France-KLM, and Lufthansa.
“Winding Tree is obviously our distribution (platform) and that’s an opportunity for us to disrupt a traditionally siloed market dominated by major distribution systems,” Tristan Thomas, Etihad’s director of digital and innovation, told Reuters.
The allure of blockchain technology in aviation booking is that it facilitates an open source platform with a low barrier to entry where small market entrants can compete against big industry players with their own solutions. With Winding Tree’s platform, corporations and institutions like Etihad will be able to publish available inventory to those customers directly.