At the World Government Summit in Dubai, Hexayurt.Capital released a paper outlining the Internet of Agreements (IoA), a strategy for harnessing the next wave of innovation to drive “Globalization 2.0” using Blockchain technology. Building on the Dubai National Blockchain Strategy, the paper provides a blueprint for collaboration between policymakers and innovators in building 21st century trade networks.
The paper, entitled “Building the Hyperconnected Future on Blockchains”, is a collaboration between Hexayurt.Capital and ConsenSys, a leading Ethereum development studio and consultancy which has participated in the Dubai Future Accelerator, a program to identify emerging technologies for rapid deployment across Dubai.
The World Government Summit hosts over 3,000 world leaders, policymakers and experts from over 130 countries. Speakers this year include Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Uber founder Travis Kalanick and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, alongside IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. Previous Summits have featured addresses from President Barack Obama and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
Dubai is already a world leader in adoption of Blockchain technology. Announced in 2016 by Sheikh Mohammed, the Dubai National Blockchain Strategy aims to move huge quantities of government paperwork to a Blockchain database, streamlining bureaucracy and opening up new opportunities for innovation. Vinay Gupta, partner at Hexayurt.Capital, was instrumental in drafting the strategy and in The Internet of Agreements™ Vinay develops this thinking further, addressing the global opportunities for Blockchain technologies.
The challenge of falling growth in world trade has preoccupied global leaders in recent years, as appetite for further multilateral trade agreements has dwindled. Yet the opportunities to engage technology to boost trade have been relatively under-explored – until now. The World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Blockchain has stated that “this technology could be key to ushering in a new era of globalism”, and it’s this opportunity that IoA seeks to engage with.
A key section in the paper identifies “Globalization 2.0” as a major opportunity to expand world trade by simplifying the regulatory and compliance work that accompanies international deal-making. From Rob Knight, partner at Hexayurt.Capital:
“We see opportunities in making technology responsive to laws and regulations in a much smarter way than at present. In an era when multilateral trade agreements are proving harder to conclude, the focus for growing trade will need to shift to facilitating compliance with varying local regulations rather than eliminating them”.
Vinay Gupta speculates that a concerted effort on machine representations of trade regulation could mitigate many of the downsides of Brexit. “If computers can help us drive to the right house in a suburb on the other side of the world, it seems reasonable they should let me know the tariff due on sending a box of spanners to France.”
Internet of Agreements (IoA) will form a major part of Hexayurt.Capital’s investment thesis, and the London-based VC firm expects to see the concept in wide use in the coming months. A conference is planned for later this year, with contributions being sought from innovators, policymakers and others in the fintech, regtech, legal and investment communities.