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Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) will provide controlled access to the annual general meetings (AGM) documents of its listed firms to mobile devices through a blockchain-based electronic voting system.
ADX Blockchain eVoting Service, as it is known, will allow stakeholders in companies to directly connect and monitor voting in AGM, via their mobile devices.
The organisation used the Gitex Tech Week in Dubai to announce the initiative, which it claims is the first of its kind in the Middle East financial services sector.
Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind bitcoin, can be used as a network for the secure sharing of documents. This is part of a wider digital straegy at ADX.
“Adopting blockchain technology in our projects comes in alignment with the digital transformation of Abu Dhabi’s government services as we constantly strive to introduce ways that ease the process of doing business in the United Arab Emirates,” said ADX CEO Rashed Al Blooshi.
“This step comes as we aspire towards becoming a fully digital exchange, with our strategic objectives aligned with Abu Dhabi’s vision for building a knowledge-based sustainable economy that constantly evolves,” he added.
ADX expects the service to cut costs, save time and increase stakeholder involvement in decision making at listed companies.
The blockchain service is one of the new services offered by ADX as part of its electronic platform. Other services include an initial public offering management system and rights issue management system.
Finance firms, including Barclays and RBS banks, are trying out blockchain for various processes, with the technology set to transform the industry.
But IT analyst company Forrester believes full-scale, industrial-strength blockchain deployments “aren’t imminent”, with finance firms preferring to put blockchain under the microscope in a lab environment for the next 10 years.