Top crypto news from the Middle East region over the last week (Nov. 4 –10, 2022):
Middle East, Asia, and Africa blockchain association launches in Abu Dhabi
A new blockchain, the cryptocurrency-focused association has been established within Abu Dhabi’s free economic zone, with the goal of advancing the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystems throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia,
As Cointelegraph reported, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association (MEAACBA) was officially launched on Nov. 8 in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a free economic zone in the city’s center governed by its own set of civil and commercial laws. According to its website, the nonprofit organization will aim to facilitate regulatory solutions, create commercial opportunities, and invest in education to support industry growth.
The association will be led by Jehanzeb Awan, the founder of an international risk and compliance consulting firm based in Dubai. Other members of the association include Binance’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional head, Richard Teng, Crypto.com’s Middle East, and Africa general manager, Stuart Isted, Ola Doudin, the CEO of BitOasis, a cryptocurrency exchange in the region.
DFSA unveils new crypto token regime for DIFC
A new regime for certain types of ‘crypto tokens’ published by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) demonstrates that the regulator has “its eye on the key issues” in the virtual asset industry, according to a legal expert.
ADGM launches mediation in the metaverse
The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Arbitration Centre, the state-of-the-art hearing facility for arbitration and mediation situated in the international financial center of the UAE’s capital, has launched a world’s-first service that hosts mediation in the metaverse.
By using the latest Web3 technology available, ADGM’s “mediation in the metaverse” service will provide a more immersive experience, enhancing virtual mediation by allowing the participants to access a 3D office space. This virtual space will be based on the physical space within the ADGM Arbitration Centre, with video imaging of participants integrated into the virtual surroundings.
OKX announces that it is a key sponsor of Abu Dhabi Finance Week
Crypto exchange OKX announced that it became a Support Partner of Abu Dhabi Finance Week. Taking place from November 14 to November 18 at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) the international financial center of the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi Finance Week is one of the world’s premier financial gatherings, bringing together industry leaders, financial institutions, investors, and regulators from all over the globe. During this gathering, the discussions will be exploring the intersection between finance and technology, as well as fintech issues, such as the role of regulators in responding to innovation, the effect of the metaverse on fintech companies, and artificial intelligence in fintech.
CoinMENA to facilitate payments in cryptocurrency for real estate in Bahrain
Crypto asset service provider CoinMENA announced a partnership with Carlton Real Estate, a Bahrain-based real estate agency, that allows investors in the Kingdom to purchase real estate property using cryptoassets. Under the partnership, the Bahrain-based real estate broker will accept stablecoins like USDT and USDC.
Kurdcoin founder says lack of regulation crypto’s big challenge in Iraq
Cryptocurrency is becoming more popular in Iraq, where the lack of a robust financial system is driving people to use it, Abdurrahman Bapir, the head of Iraq’s first cryptocurrency exchange, told Al-Monitor. Bapir said on the appeal of cryptocurrency in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and how the crypto crash has affected the domestic market.
OKX hosts Web3 version of World Cup 2022 in Qatar
On Nov. 8, OKX, the second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, launched its OKX Football Festival in anticipation of the upcoming footballing event. The event consists of prize pool money of more than $3 million in tokens, limited edition NFTs, and exclusive experiences. The OKX Football Festival consists of the NFT Football Cup, the 2022 OKX Football Cup Trading Competition, and the Earn Super Hattrick fan token staking series.
Beginning with the NFT Football Cup on Nov. 8, fans can mint up to three free NFTs corresponding to their preferred teams. Although they need to stake 10 USDT per NFT, the funds will be fully returned after the tournament’s completion.
Binance launched Web3 football challenge
Crypto exchange Binance launches a blockchain-backed football initiative where fans can win several exclusive prizes. In addition to $1 million worth of rewards in tokens, Binance Football Fever offers a host of other additional perks, including limited edition NFTs and premium club experiences, such as training ground tours and meet-and-greet sessions with their favorite players.
Binance’s new football initiative started on November 7th. The leading crypto exchange states that fans can begin to play by first claiming their free NFT Passports as of November 7th. In addition, fans would also need to submit predictions of upcoming matches to support their favored teams between November 11th and December 18th.
Oases offers 1,984 World Cup-themed NFTs on Seedpad
Oases, a novel decentralized NFT marketplace, shared the details of its upcoming digital collectible release and NFT draw associated with the FIFA soccer World Cup in Qatar. According to the official statement shared by Oases, its limited edition NFTs that portray all teams participating in the final stage of the FIFA World Cup 2022 is available since Nov. 7, 2022.
UAE sovereign fund Mubadala invests in crypto firm Ramp
Ramp Network, which makes it easy for users to on and off-ramp from Web3 games, has raised a $70 million Series B funding round led by the UAE’s Mubadala Capital and Korelya Capital. Other investors include Balderton Capital, which led its $53 million Series A, and new investor Cogito Capital.
Ramp’s role is to dispense with the friction of needing crypto by accepting conventional card payments for the collectibles. But it also helps with KYC processes.
Crypto venture KoinBasket eyes the UAE amid its global expansion
Crypto platform KoinBasket is set to enter the UAE market, with aggressive plans to expand wider in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a top company’s executive said. Currently operating in the US, the Singapore-based venture is also eyeing partnerships and alliances with leading financial technology and crypto companies in the region for faster growth.
CAPEX.com receives UAE licence to offer crypto services
Multi-licensed broker CAPEX.com has received in-principle approval to conduct a full spectrum of virtual assets business in Abu Dhabi, the firm’s CEO announced. The new license allows its parent, Key Way Markets Ltd, to bring the CAPEX.com brand closer to clients in the Middle East, with a major focus on the UAE. The company already holds the ADGM FSRA license to offer traditional financial services.
After completing its application process for full licensing, CAPEX.com will be able to offer its virtual asset services to customers across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The Abu Dhabi T10 League declared Bitica Coin as their sponsor
The Abu Dhabi T10 – the world tournament for 10-over quick cricket and the brainchild of the billionaire businessman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk – officially declared Bitica Coin as their Associate Sponsor for the season.
Developed in 2018, Bitica Coin (BDCC) was created on Bitica Block Chain Smart Technology, owned by Dubai-registered company Block Beats.
Binance helped Iranian firms trade $8 billion despite sanctions
Crypto exchange Binance has processed Iranian transactions with a value of $8 billion since 2018 despite U.S. sanctions intended to cut Iran off from the global financial system, blockchain data show. Almost all the funds, some $7.8 billion, flowed between Binance and Iran’s largest crypto exchange, Nobitex, according to a review of data from leading US blockchain researcher Chainalysis. Nobitex offers guidance on its website on how to skirt sanctions.