Top crypto news from the Middle East region over the last week (Sept. 17–23, 2022):
Islamic finance sector sees growth opportunities in crypto and metaverse
New research of IslamicMarkets.com with leading Islamic finance professionals shows growing acceptance of crypto and digital assets and rising interest in the metaverse. Nearly 63% predict the adoption of crypto and digital assets in Islamic finance will increase over the next five years, with 16% expecting a dramatic increase. About 70% say adoption of the metaverse in the Islamic finance sector will increase over the next three years, with 20% forecasting a dramatic rise.
Traditionally, many in the Islamic finance sector have been skeptical about crypto and digital assets; however, the research found dramatic improvements in regulation have convinced professionals to look at them more closely.
CoinCorner and Dubai’s Royal Family facilitate Bitcoin transactions in Dubai
British Bitcoin trading desk CoinCorner has partnered with Seed Group, a company owned by Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum’s family office, to enter into the Dubai and broader Middle East crypto exchange market. Meanwhile, Binance has secured a license from Dubai’s crypto regulator (VARA) to offer a range of crypto-related services in the city.
Binance receives green light for crypto services in Dubai
Crypto exchange Binance received a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), enabling the crypto exchange to offer a range of virtual asset services to qualified retail and institutional investors, the company disclosed on Sept. 21. With the new permission, Binance will be able to offer a range of virtual asset-related services to qualified retail and institutional investors under the legislative framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs).
Binance partners EazyPay to facilitate crypto payments in Bahrain
The Central Bank of Bahrain has approved a new partnership by Binance with Eazy Financial Services ‘eazyPay’, a local POS and online payment service provider. The greenlight enables EazyPayto to launch Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments in the region.
Iran starts testing a ‘digital rial’
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) started a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot on Sept. 22, according to the news service of the country’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture. In the report, the bank was quoted saying the goal of the “crypto-rial” is to turn banknotes into programmable entities. Earlier in August, the CBI published a draft document outlining goals and opportunities for a digital currency.
FIFA Releases Genesis NFTs before the World Cup in Qatar
Two months away from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, football’s governing body is releasing an NFT collection. The FIFA+ Collect platform went live on Sept. 22 with its Genesis Drop, a collection of 532,980 packs containing historical highlights from past FIFA events.
The NFT platform leverages the Algorand blockchain, a proof-of-stake network that became FIFA’s official blockchain partner in May. The packs are priced at $4.99 apiece, and each contains three randomly selected highlights, or what the platform calls ‘moments.’
Penguin Company sets up its new branch in Dubai
Penguin Company, a leading supplier of crypto mining equipment at the best prices, has set up its new branch in Dubai. The company’s founder and Managing Director Mian Ramzan, Managing Directors Bilal Ijaz, and Abdullah Tariq said in a statement that the company is committed to making cryptocurrency mining easier, simpler, and more accessible to everyone advancements in crypto, blockchain, and NFT.
Winners of the first edition of GB Tech Web3 Awards revealed in Dubai
The first edition of the Web3 Awards 2022 was held on Sept. 23 to celebrate the most influential and trailblazing leaders, companies, and startups of the region’s Web3 ecosystem.
The ceremony was held at Social Distrikt, The Pointe at The Palm Jumeirah, and a total of 15 winners were recognized. The awards were hosted by Motivate Media Group and GB Tech Talk (a Gulf Business brand) in collaboration with Arte by Crypto Oasis.
Twitter account of Oman’s embassy in India hacked to promote XRP scam
Scammers have hacked the official Twitter account of the Embassy of Oman in India, replacing the profile picture with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and using the reply function to spam users with fake XRP giveaway phishing links. The hackers behind the attack may have been responsible for breaching India-based crypto exchange CoinDCX’s Twitter account given the similar fake XRP giveaways.