Etisalat recently announced a new initiative that aims to empower employees with Blockchain-powered digital HR credentials, becoming the first to implement this cutting edge digital technology in the region.
Blockchain’s adoption has been subdued and mostly confined to the cryptocurrency world, but this UAE initiative has raised hopes that it might finally have a future beyond digital currency.
Implemented in partnership with Chaintrail.com, Etisalat is providing lifetime access to all HR letters, empowering employees with tamper-proof data at their fingertips. The objective of the blockchain implementation is to ensure all employees can generate, access, and utilize credentials 24/7 and 365 days, while credential verifiers can do the same without any dependence on manual intervention.
Dena Ali Al Mansoori, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Etisalat, said: “The future of work is here. Our world changed in 2020 and Etisalat’s overall strategy to ‘Drive the Digital Future to Empower Societies’ has never been more important.”
“Etisalat has some of the most talented and innovative minds in AI, robotics, blockchain, and other technologies and as our society continues to transform digitally, we will continue to focus our efforts on these capabilities as part of our recruitment and talent strategy in 2021 and beyond.”
This is a classic example of how Etisalat is implementing and benefiting from Blockchain on top of helping government and private organizations on the adoption of this emerging technology, such as in the blockchain trade finance platform UAE Trade Connect or the ‘Shahada’ Blockchain platform for digitizing education certificates.
In addition to blockchain, Etisalat HR has also soft-launched an ‘HR Virtual Assistant’, a chatbot equipped with a complete set of FAQs and HR policies.
Is Blockchain working as a tech?
Blockchain has so far seen limited widespread and broad use outside the cryptocurrency world.
“Unless someone can find or invent a real ‘killer application’ for it soon, it will not evolve into the transformative technology that we were all hoping for but is likely to stay within the confines of cryptocurrency and limited applications,” says Michel André, Board Member at Muinmos, a proprietary compliance engine that uses AI to instantly and globally validate clients.
Blockchain has the potential to solve enormous issues such as eliminating vast amounts of record-keeping, smart contracts, clearing, and settlement, or streamlining cross-border payments, all on a distributed ledger without a centrally trusted party.
“Despite this and huge investments, we have not seen any major uptake or usage as there seems to be a lack of a ‘killer application’,” he said.
“Yes, it is quite easy and technically feasible to create a complete decentralized network using Blockchain technology but getting all parties to agree on which protocols to use, which content, and which type of Blockchain is a huge, seemingly insurmountable hurdle for a lot of applications.”
Lots of firms claim to use Blockchain technology as it is a buzz word which makes them sound cutting-edge, but the reality is that the market has not embraced it enough for it to become mainstream.
In many use cases, blockchain might not be needed as a distributed ledger, and consensus is not necessary for their application but used just for ‘buzz’. Even the enthusiasm from investors is starting to wain; venture capital funding for blockchain start-ups dropped 35% last year to $2.79 billion, according to CB Insights.
“Blockchain technology will undoubtedly continue to be used as the foundation within the cryptocurrency space, and there are also a few cases in securities dealing or OTC trading where trades are reconciled, cleared, and settled over a blockchain. Other than that, its use is fairly limited,” André concluded.
UAE/Saudi Crypto and blockchain
Bitrump, the UAE based crypto exchange plans to list more altcoins to expand trading options for its global users.
Emerging altcoins allows traders to invest in a wide variety of crypto with multiple utility benefits across different platforms.
Xavier Perry, the Director of Bitrump, commented, “Bitrump aims to promote a collaborative approach for driving the Crypto industry’s growth by adding emerging Altcoins and other utility tokens, thereby providing the traders with multiple asset options.”
The UAE based crypto exchange has been expanding its operations worldwide, owing to its rapidly growing global user base, thereby allowing access to highly scalable and agile crypto exchange architecture.
Bitrump was founded by blockchain enthusiasts. The core team is from the world’s leading internet and finance companies, including the earliest adopters/professionals of cryptocurrency.
The central banks of Saudi Arabia and the UAE have concluded a digital currency (CBDC) pilot, finding that distributed ledger technology can improve cross-border transactions and meet the demands of financial privacy in a purely digital context.
In a 93-page overview of the “Aber” project, the two central banks outlined the lessons learned from a yearlong proof-of-concept meant to test the viability of a shared digital currency between the nations. They found that a distributed payment system offers “significant improvement over centralized payment systems” for domestic and cross-border commercial bank settlements.
It is hoped that the project will work as a foundation for more studies and applications conducted by central banks and relevant international organizations, focusing particularly on various potential effects on monetary policies and the stability of the financial sector as well as the impact of various technical possibilities on organizational structures and the sector in general.