Saudi Arabia, a country well known for its oil, strict laws and for being a powerful country in the middle east is now trying to alter its image in front of the world with time. For around 80 years now its maintained its image as an oil country. Teenagers across the globe who know little or nothing about the country recognize it for being a country which gives the world oil, creating a stereotype.
Saudi Arabia is like an aging movie star, developing and adapting itself to new possibilities and environment despite holding a very popular, dominant image in the world’s eyes. As the world discovers new technologies and moves forward in the path of evolution, Saudi Arabia is joining the world to cater the demands of the evolving world and establish itself in a new role.
The Saudi Arabian government recently partnered with Ripple, the San Francisco-based fintech startup known for the XRP coin.
The kingdom’s defacto central bank teamed up with Ripple to pilot instant cross-border payments between banks in the region using the blockchain. Ripple said this would allow for faster, cheaper, and more transparent transactions.
Saudi Arabia was one of the founding members of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC] and established a strong relationship with the middle east oil exporting countries. The organization’s strength and unity are so strong that in 1973 they manage to quadruple the prices of Oil by announcing oil boycott against the Western countries that supported Israel in the October War against Egypt and Syria.
Even when its evolving and trying to change its forte, it is doing so with the same spirit of keeping the Middle East United. The Saudi central bank is working with the United Arab Emirates’ central bank to issue a digital currency that would be accepted in cross-border transactions between the two countries. As the Saudi government continues to experiment with digital currencies, it signifies a transfer of focus from oil to emerging technologies, such as blockchain and digital tokens.
The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology recently partnered with ConsenSys, a Brooklyn-based production studio focused on building enterprise software products powered by Ethereum. The Ministry co-hosted a ‘blockchain boot camp’ with ConsenSys as part of its efforts to support technological development.
The three-day boot camp provided an in-depth training on how to create a developed environment and build decentralized applications.
Saudi Arabia recognizes the potential a new technology like blockchain holds and the number of possibilities it opens up and Saudi Arabia now wants to be at the leading front in promoting in technology. A side benefit of the entire agenda is, its partnership and business will help strengthen its relationship with the USA and the other western countries.
Ahmed Al-Thenayyan, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister for the technology industry and digital capacities said,
“AI, Internet of Things, and the blockchain serve as major contributors to the Industry 4.0 and the development of GDP.”