Abu Dhabi has launched a new partnership backed by the emirate’s financial free zone to accelerate blockchain and cryptocurrency development in the region.
The Middle East, Africa and Asia Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association (MEAACBA), a non-profit organization backed by Abu Dhabi Global Market, aims to bring together industry players to discuss strategies and address the biggest challenges facing the industry. the industry, while integrating digital assets. in key economic sectors.
The ADGM-headquartered association counts among its partners major cryptocurrency platforms including Mubadala-backed MidChains, Dubai-based BitOasis, Bahrain-based Rain Financial, Crypto.com, and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. of operations.
“The UAE is on track to become one of the best international financial centers, and we want to be a recognized contributor to the diversified and sustained development of the UAE economy,” ADGM Chairman Ahmed Al Zaabi said during a speech at the launch. event in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
“We strongly believe that MEAACBA will continuously contribute to driving the UAE’s digital economy and adoption…and have an impact in the region and globally.”
The move places Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates at the forefront of innovation, in line with the government’s goals to capitalize on ongoing digital transformation for the transition to a smart, knowledge-based economy.
Blockchain is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance, which is generally seen as a more secure way to transact and could end up replacing intermediaries such as brokers and banks in the financial system.
The UAE has taken various steps to integrate blockchain into the economy, government, and society as part of efforts to develop the economy of the future.
Blockchain, in particular, has received special focus, with a number of government initiatives established, including the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 and the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, as well as the formation of the Global Blockchain Council.
The United Arab Emirates is “very well placed” to build the industry’s next phase of growth, said Stuart Isted, general manager for the Middle East and Africa at Crypto.com. The National.
“If you look at the US and UK market, they don’t have the same regulatory framework and the same intention of the regulator to build an industry from scratch, which is what the UAE has done,” Isted said.
Last year, ADGM revealed its plans to double the number of cryptocurrency exchanges to expand online asset trading options for investors.
Global cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, Kraken, and eToro have flocked to the ADGM for operating licenses as they seek to harness the potential of the Emirates cryptocurrency market.
The UAE’s digital economy contributes 4.3 percent to the national economy, according to government data.
The Emirates have also been rising up the ranks as a recognized global cryptocurrency hub. It is now among the top five nations in terms of adoption, with annual transactions worth $25 billion, according to consultancy PwC.
Meanwhile, the broader Mena region is the fastest growing cryptocurrency market in the world, accounting for 9.2 percent of global digital currency transactions from July 2021 to June 2022, according to data platform Blockchain Chainalysis.
The global blockchain market is also booming, forecast to grow to $7.18 billion this year and $164 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of more than 56%, from around $4.7 billion in 2021, according to Fortune Business Insights.
The capital is also set to host the first Middle East Blockchain Awards at this month’s Abu Dhabi Finance Week.
The new association is keen to address the challenges of the cryptocurrency sector, especially now that it is undergoing what is called a “crypto winter,” or a cooling in the market that has dragged Bitcoin below its key psychological level of $20,000. in June and wiped $2 trillion off the sector’s total market, sending it below $1 trillion.
Bitcoin, the world’s first and largest cryptocurrency, was trading about 5 percent lower at $19,773.73 as of 2 p.m. UAE time on Tuesday, according to Coinbase.
“We’ve had some very nice springs and summers, but also quite cold winters,” said Jehanzeb Awan, chairman of the new partnership and founding partner and CEO of Dubai-based financial consultancy J Awan & Partners.
“Business is based on principles, not seasons, therefore we need a lot of effort to bring together all the players in the industry.”
The UAE is on its way to becoming one of the best international financial centers, and we want to be a recognized contributor to the diversified and sustained development of the UAE economy.
Ahmed Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Global Market
“A lot of people focus on the speculative nature of the industry, but this year is an opportunity to focus on the fundamentals of the industry,” said Joseph Dallago, CEO and co-founder of Rain Financial. The National.
The association’s goals include developing educational campaigns and coordinating with local and global partners to craft frameworks for blockchain ecosystems that are accessible, transparent, and compliant with industry standards.
MEAACBA’s strategy will help promote financial inclusion, in cooperation with local authorities, as regulation will be the “biggest door” to mainstream adoption, said Basil Al Askari, co-founder and CEO of MidChains.
“This will help inform, and ultimately adoption, or at least acceptance, for banks to work with virtual assets that are regulated, and in turn work with their customers,” he said. The National.
The association will also address the issue of sustainability in the cryptocurrency sector, which has faced backlash for its massive energy consumption.
Operating on systems that are environmentally responsible “will make people more comfortable” getting involved with cryptocurrencies, said Dominic Longman, a senior executive at Binance.
MEAACBA is They also hold contests to find companies that develop solutions to problems in the real economy. Winners will have the opportunity to receive support from the industry and connect with investors.
Updated: November 8, 2022, 1:53 PM