IBM’s Marie Wieck Calls for Blockchain Adoption, Praises Dubai

Marie Wieck, who manages IBM’s blockchain initiatives, said that governments worldwide should adopt blockchain technology by moving their services to such platforms.

Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM’s blockchain unit, told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that governments around the world should embrace blockchain technology and use it for all of their services.

Speaking to the AFR at IBM’s THINK conference in Las Vegas, Wieck said that broader adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT) could contribute about $3.1 trillion to the global economy. She also praised Dubai as the most active blockchain user.

Wieck noted that governments are either fully supporting the technology and the cryptocurrency concept or entirely rejecting them. South Korea, for example, is taking the toughest stance on blockchain and cryptocurrency use, while the federal government of Dubai leads in their adoption.

“There is no question that the level of blockchain activity in Dubai far exceeds just about every other place because it has made the mandate, from a government perspective, that in December of 2021 they won't be using any paper-based systems,” Wieck said.

“In order to do this, they are putting all documents on a blockchain,” she added.

Dubai, which aims to become a smart city, launched the Dubai Blockchain Strategy via state agencies Smart Dubai Office and the Dubai Future Foundation. Both initiatives are backed by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Starting in 2016, the strategy aims to make blockchain an integral part of the city’s public sector by 2020. However, Smart Dubai Office head Aisha Bint Butti bin Bishr said in January that the target could be achieved by the end of 2018. 

IBM is one of the leaders among blockchain developers and promoters. The US-based tech giant recognized the technology’s potential way before its peers.

At the THINK conference, IBM presented four new blockchain projects and initiatives, with a focus on the beta launch of the Blockchain Platform Starter Plan, on which we reported last month.

IBM also presented three new consulting services, such as advising on setting blockchain experiments in 12 weeks or integrating DLT with other innovative technologies like artificial intelligence.

Wieck is confident that blockchain will have an impact on every industry and every country. Antarctica is the only place where we don’t have a blockchain project yet, according to her.

The THINK conference attracted 40,000 people, making it the biggest one in IBM's history.