By: Editor In Chief UNLOCK- Project Lead UNLOCK Blockchain Forum
As the summer heats up in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) so are blockchain implementations, investments, and crypto asset exchange launchings.
In addition to the preliminary launching of DEX Exchange in UAE, Havyn, and Bitoasis, as well as Arabian Bourse in the UAE, Bahrain also witnessed the launch of the first Ethereum based decentralized stock exchange SprinkleXchange. This comes after the announcement of Rain crypto exchange earlier. With more licenses being granted and a bullish cryptocurrency market, tougher regulations from FATF are in play as well as across other jurisdictions.
The stream of investment into blockchain projects is also picking up. Token Open banking platform received investments from MENA banks. In KSA Oracle and OceanX collaborated to help Saudi entrepreneurs. While in the UAE, AbuDhabi’s Ghadan 21 and Hub71 accelerator accepted Blockchain startup Bitoasis and others into their cohort. Raqamyah joined SAMA’s regulatory sandbox and Ethereum Islamic Compliant Platform being built by Block10 is seeking investment from GCC with an emphasis on KSA.
We also haven’t seen any cooling down when it comes to Blockchain implementations and infrastructure development. UAE announced that its Blockchain digital identity project will be added by more governmental entities. Giant retail outlet Landmark group and HSBC are also utilizing blockchain for trade finance between Asia and UAE. As if all this was not enough Dubai Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with ICC and Perlin will be offering blockchain solutions to its partners and members. Emirates NBD also successfully implemented paperless digital blockchain Host2host payment solution for Dubai Finance Department. Even Nestle is piloting is blockchain supply chain project between UAE and Australia with Opensec.
In terms of infrastructure IBM is expanding its operations in MENA specifically in Egypt to focus on Blockchain AI and IOT, while Microsoft has launched two data centers for Azure in UAE which hosts Blockchain as service solutions.
Finally we also recently wrote about how UAE Dalma Capital and BTG Pactual will be utilizing Tezos Blockchain platform for the launch of STOs worth more than $1 billion dollars. CEO of Dalma Capital spoke to UNLOCK about the upcoming STOs in MENA and Dubai Land Department future regulations.
It is obvious that the MENA region is picking up the pace when it comes to crypto and blockchain, and the summer vacation hasn’t slowed anything down. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out and will other countries follow suite with regards to licensing of crypto exchanges.