NYC-based BlockTech partners with Taibah University in Saudi Arabia to launch Blockchain Lab
In a press release sent out today, Blocktech, a New York City-based blockchain development and educational company, announced it is partnering with Taibah Valley, the investment arm of Taibah University in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, to launch the Blockchain Lab at the university. The lab will be directed by Professor Walaa Alharthi, an internationally renowned expert in the field of artificial intelligence.
This past summer, Dr. Alharthi and a group of colleagues travelled to New York City to visit BlockTech’s headquarters, where they met with noted blockchain expert, Nick Spanos, the company’s founder and CEO. Under Spanos’ guidance, Dr. Alharthi and her team studied blockchain development, with a specific focus on smart contracts, oracles, and bonding curves. Said Dr. Alharthi of her visit:
“Mr. Spanos gave a keynote speech at Taibah University earlier this year that opened our eyes to the immediate relevance and importance of blockchain. Our team was honored to be invited to New York to train with an original pioneer of this technology. We are excited to share what we learned with our students while using the vast applications of blockchain technologies to serve the entire region.”
According to the release, “Blockchain Lab will initially focus on bonding curves for tokenized securities, curation markets for data integrity, and the Zap Oracle Platform.” Spanos is also the creator of Zap, a platform that connects data providers with data seekers through the use of oracles, which are designed to bridge the gap between real world data and the blockchain; more specifically, they allow for smart contracts to be triggered by events that occur outside the blockchain, rather than just from within it. Zap, whose native token goes by the same name and is listed on Cryptopia and HitBTC, completed its ICO in November of last year.
Said Spanos, who also founded the Bitcoin Center in 2013, of working with Dr. Alharthi, who will be the first female director of a technology lab in Saudi Arabia:
“Decentralized blockchain technologies are disrupting every industry. We work with companies and institutions of all sizes and with all levels of blockchain literacy to create new solutions. Dr. Alharthi is a pioneer in her own right. We look forward to working with her so the lab can play a pivotal role in the nascent blockchain ecosystem in the Middle East.”
Founded in 2003 as a public university, Taibah University boasts an enrollment of roughly 70,000 students and a wide array of programs. Like an increasing number of universities around the world, Taibah University seems to view the study of blockchain not simply as a luxury, but a necessity in order to keep pace with of rapid technological advancement, now and into the future. Explained Kumail Akbari, a blockchain instructor to Taibah Valley:
“The team at BlockTech is the original and foremost authority in a plethora of blockchain verticals and as such we knew any lab we created would need their involvement. Taibah Valley invests in innovations with clear economic value. At this point, anyone who doesn’t see the enormous potential of blockchain is at risk of being left behind in obscurity.”
In keeping with the widely applicable, interdisciplinary nature of blockchain technology, the Blockchain Lab will work in tandem with the Taibah University Computer Science, Law, and Business Departments with the aim of increasing blockchain adoption in the Middle East, and addressing critical regional issues, such as exist in the oil and gas industry. Ameliorating these problems in any way would not only be a significant step for the Blockchain Lab, but for the potential of blockchain technology to impact the world in a positive, tangible way.
[Disclaimer: Spanos is a co-founder of Cryptos.com]