UAE Tech Podcast: Dubai Financial Services Authority on FinTech, RegTech & Innovation

Published September 22nd, 2020 - 07:00 GMT
Ken Coghill & Raef Bidiwi for DFSA /Al Bawaba
Ken Coghill & Raef Bidiwi for DFSA /Al Bawaba

If you’ve been tuning in, you’ll have noticed that FINTECH is a recurring theme in discussions on the UAE Tech podcast. It’s receiving significant VC investment across the region, often with little fanfare. From physical cash to digital 1’s and 0’s, how we receive, send, invest and spend money is critical to, well, pretty much everything. There are two arguments about the nature of the changes taking place across financial institutions.


The first is a ‘cyberutopian’ argument - centralised banks, guys in suits and the old players of the 20th century are fading away. The future is blockchain and crypto powered; it’s more free. You can hear this argument eloquently put by John McAfee in our first episode. It’s a compelling vision of the future which connects back to the original founding ideals of the Internet. If you grew up during the 2008 financial crisis in the West, it might be one you have sympathy with.

The first is a ‘cyberutopian’ argument - centralised banks, guys in suits and the old players of the 20th century are fading away. The future is blockchain and crypto powered; it’s more free.

But is it correct? History suggests that technologies like the abacus, debit and entry accounting systems or the credit arrangements of the Bank of England in 1694 witnessed an upgrading of existing financial networks, rather than parallel economic systems.

As the UAE leans into the economy of the future, the epicenter of these conversations are taking place at the Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC), a series of prestigious offices based in downtown Dubai. DIFC is administered by DFSA - the Dubai Financial Services Authority. Today we’re talking with Ken Coghill, Associate Director, Head of Operational and Technology Risk Supervision and Raeef Al Bediwi, Head of Cyber Security. Both are based at the DFSA.

Disruption, iteration and collaboration  - rather than extrinsic revolution - seem to be appearing as the key transformational trends.

We’ll start with a brief introduction for those outside the UAE, before getting into the regulatory,  tech and innovation questions Ken and Raeef are encountering everyday. Disruption, iteration and collaboration  - rather than extrinsic revolution - seem to be appearing as the key transformational trends.

Subscribe on Spotify and iTunes for a discussion on character in AI, and human-centric tech.


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