Journey to the West

chen Zhuling
May 29 · 4 min read

In the 16th Century, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature was created. This particular piece journeyed with a few monks traveling to India to get all the books written by Buddha, a priceless cargo.

Further west, Middle East has always been a very active business hub in the silk road since ancient times. I’m still amazed by how many merchants travel thousands of kms to trade, this is probably the first large scale free trade environment in history. Hundreds of years later, I took my first visit to Dubai, my own silk road in a sense, and I would like to share what I saw regarding how blockchain has been developing over there.

An Economy shift

Over the last few years, the Middle East has been actively seeking new technology as a source for its overwhelming economy. There is a strong push to diversify from the current oil based economy.

His highness, Sheikh Maktoun bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, showed the clear support for blockchain technology during the launch of the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021.

“The adoption of this technology will reflect on the quality of life in the UAE and will enhance happiness levels for citizens,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“50 percent of government transactions on the federal level will be conducted using blockchain technology by 2021,” he added.

“This technology will save time, effort and resources and enable individuals to conduct most of their transactions in a timely manner that suits their lifestyle and work.”

This shift has focused so strongly on technology that they believe this strategy will save 11 Billion AED, 398 million printed documents annually, and 77 million work hours annually. In fact, the UAE Government is so focused on this push that they have announced a complete smart city 2020 vision, where blockchain is a key component.

On The Ground

Dubai reminds me a lot of Singapore, the structure, a modern, efficient, and highly organized city. As a special experience, I was visiting during Ramadan, allowing me to experience the rich culture that permeates throughout the whole city. I was able to celebrate Ifta with friends, further enforcing the strong value this culture supports towards friendship and family. It was such a heart-warming experience in such a busy business-centric world.

With the help of Jason from our partner company, CGS and Enterprise Singapore, we visited a number of government agencies, including Abu Dhabi Smart Solutions Authority and Dubai SME. It was clear very quickly that they possess a strong understanding of blockchain technology beyond the application of cryptocurrencies. This came through as they discussed their vision for a solution to transform their public. In addition, my ex-colleagues at Roland Berger are also advising large corporates on blockchain-related topics. After speaking with them, it was very apparent that their experiences also point towards a very high demand for blockchain adoption, and I was able to open the door to a few new exciting opportunities aelf can pursue.

We strongly believe that the aelf blockchain will have a great impact on enterprises and blockchain adoption. With our help, an enterprise can launch their own aelf blockchain with 5 minutes, with easy, modularized customization. Our ecosystem will work to a high efficiency with the unique parallel processing capability. We are changing the ‘single core CPU’ blockchain to a ‘multi core CPU’ multi-chain system. Couple this with the supporting tools, building a dapp on aelf could not be easier!

“Our ecosystem will work to a high efficiency… couple this with the supporting tools, building a dapp on aelf could not be easier!”

With the mindset and infrastructure available, we strongly believe the UAE is a great region to develop blockchain adoption. We will continue to conduct our business development here and are happy to appoint Jason King as Director of Middle East & North Africa (MENA) for aelf. He will aid us in opening doors with governments and enterprises with the full support of aelf team in this region. In addition, we have also secured some technical solution providers to help our clients implement their dapps on the aelf blockchain.

Every great journey begins with one small but monumental step. For aelf, we have taken this step and are now on an exciting journey, bringing blockchain to the UAE. We have set the wheels in motion and have aligned all the pieces to maximize our potential for success. I know I speak for the aelf team when I say, we look forward to announcing many more opportunities with enterprises and governments, not only in the UAE, but around the world.


ælf, the next breakthrough in Blockchain.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade