Anthony Butler, the Chief Technology Officer for IBM MENA region who was based out of KSA, and is a blockchain, AI, metaverse expert has joined Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) as a senior advisor.

He announced the new position on LinkedIn saying, “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Senior Advisor at Saudi Central Bank – SAMA! As a senior advisor to SAMA I will be focused on  first of a kind applications of emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, quantum, and advanced cryptography in support of payments innovations (such as CBDC, stable coins, and tokenization), transformation of Suptech/Regtech, green finance,  open finance, decentralized finance (DeFi), and cybersecurity.

Anthony Butler had spent 15 years as chief technology officer for IBM in the Middle East and Africa working in emerging technologies, with a specific focus on the application of artificial intelligence, blockchain and metaverse technologies.

Anthony is well versed speaker and writer on emerging technologies. On his Blog page he talked about the impact of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, on societies and economies. 

He also notes on his page, that he lives in and supports the development of one of the most exciting and future-oriented places in the world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

In one of his articles he discusses the collapse of FTX currency exchange, and believes there is a need to evolve new models of decentralized finance that will mitigate risks. He adds that if a person does not own their keys they cannot own their digital tokens.

He notes, “Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is likely to hold the long term answer to much of this: decentralized exchanges will use blockchain technologies to remove the need for trust.  They will provide permissionless, transparent, exchange services where users will have self-sovereign custody of their digital assets without the need to transfer control to a centralized authority to manage on their behalf.”

Anthony Butler had also been involved in KSA Central Bank’s ABER CBDC project with the UAE Central Bank. At the time he noted in a tweet, “What is new and challenging is we are designing it so that it can be issued by two central banks simultaneously.  Many hard problems being solved and lots of lessons to be learned but exciting times ahead; and great example of the visionary leadership of both @SAMA_GOV and CBUAE.”

This is not the first major appointment of an expert in the digital asset, blockchain space by SAMA, prior to this they had appointed Mr. Mohsen AlZahrani, Virtual Assets (VA) and CBDC program Lead, who was recently discussing KSA’s wholesale CBDC project at R3 Corda Day in UAE.


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