Top crypto news from the Middle East region over the last week (Dec. 3–9, 2022):
Ripple partner and JP Morgan join forces to enhance financial transfers in UAE
Al Fardan Exchange, a crypto exchange licensed in the UAE and one of Ripple Labs’ partners, has inked a strategic partnership with global banking giant JP Morgan, a recent press release states. The two companies will offer their customers value transfers conducted in a record short period of time. From now on, all Al Fardan Exchange corporate customers will be able to transact in major global fiat currencies, such as the USD, GBP, EUR, ZAR (South African Rand), and many more. Apart from that, customers in the UAE will be able to process faster and more reliable financial transfers.
Europe’s crypto investment app SwissBorg enters the UAE
SwissBorg, one of Europe’s leading cryptocurrency wealth management apps, launched in the UAE at the end of November to cater to the growing market within the country.
“The opportunity is to grow in an environment where more and more entrepreneurs from different horizons are permanently moving to the UAE and capture the growth of a region that is not only positioned well geographically but is also booming economically,” Anthony Lesoismier, co-founder & chief strategy officer at SwissBorg, told The Media Line.
The Emirates’ proactiveness has “successfully attracted” key crypto firms by creating an attractive environment for them to thrive, the expert said.
Huobi announces partnership with Tafabot
Tafabot, the UAE-based AI trading and portfolio management company, has partnered with crypto exchange Huobi to provide automated trades to crypto enthusiasts.
The automated non-custodial trading bot has its operational headquarters in Dubai, UAE, with a cross-border utility to serve millions of crypto professionals, newbies, and enthusiasts, Tafabot is the world’s pioneer bot system enabled for futures, spot, and arbitrage markets combined.
Both Huobi and Tafabot view their partnership as a strategic step towards improving the easy adoption of crypto and blockchain knowledge across communities around the world.
UAE’s NFT market is expected to grow by 45.5% to $982 million in 2022
According to forecasts from ResearchAndMarkets.com, the NFT industry in the UAE is expected to grow by 45.5% on an annual basis to reach $982 million in 2022, with a CAGR of 32.1% during 2022-2028. The NFT Spend Value in the country will increase to $4746 million by 2028.
Over the last 12 months, several innovative NFT marketplaces have also emerged in the country, which has made it relatively simpler for the general public to buy, sell, and trade in NFTs. From NFT-based startups to cryptocurrency exchanges, several players are entering the UAE NFT market; the presence of several NFT marketplaces has also supported the rise in NFT trading transaction value and volume, and the trend is expected to gain further momentum over the next three to four years in the UAE.
Coca-Cola and Crypto.com to mint NFTs based on heatmaps from FIFA World Cup games
Coca-Cola has teamed up with Crypto.com to release a collection of 2022 FIFA World Cup NFTs based on heatmaps of the games played. The move is the latest corporate play to try to capitalize on crypto fever amid the World Cup in Qatar.
Coca-Cola is releasing a set of 10,000 World Cup NFTs, which are based on heatmaps of the games played. Powered by Crypto.com’s NFT platform, the NFTs will be developed by GMUNK, a digital artist who previously worked with Nike, DoorDash, and musician Grimes.
Metaverse awareness in GCC spells vast opportunities for the retail sector: report
The report ‘GCC State of the Metaverse and its Potential for Luxury Retail’ by Chalhoub Group revealed that the metaverse industry is currently worth $40-$65 billion and is expected to reach $13 trillion by 2030.
Chalhoub Group surveyed 1,600 consumers across the GCC and revealed a high level of awareness in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman when it comes to crypto (77%), NFTs (49%), and the metaverse (46%), mainly amongst younger and high-income males.
Amongst the GCC luxury consumers interviewed, 89 percent would like to preview products in the metaverse and 71 percent are already engaged with a branded virtual experience. Regarding adoption rates, 48 percent confirmed they have already invested in crypto, while 23 percent stated they are engaged with NFTs and active on metaverse platforms.