CoinSechedule recently posted on its website that the UAE was number one in terms of the value raised from token sales in 2019. The statement made by CoinSchedule and published in many mediastated, “The United Arab Emirates has just emerged as the world’s capital for sales of digital tokens coming from way behind, accounting for more than a fourth of all funds raised in offerings this year through early April”.
UNLOCK took a deeper look into the statements, given the fact that the UAE has thus far not legalized or legislated ICOs or STO’s offering within the country but plan to finalize this by mid2019. This would mean that these ICOs or STOs could not have legally launched from the UAE. So the question is how then could the UAE become number one in terms of money raised from ICOs and Token sales.
We did find that both GCBIB ( Genesis Crypto Blockchain Investment Bank) which claims to have held a public ICO, utility token offering, and Bolton Coin which has announced an STO (Security token offering) are both registered in Dubai. GCBIB is registered in Dubai as Genesisx Consortium Backbone Inter Banknet Alliance FZCO P.O.Box 6009, in Dubai Silicon Oasis Dubai, UAE and BoltonCoin registered under Bolton Holding in UAE, with registration Number: IC20150057 located in Prime Tower in Business Bay Dubai.
On the Bolton website it clearly states that the Bolton STO token issuer is registered in Cayman Islands BFCL L.L.C. Suite 140, 10 Market Street, Grand Cayman Island KY1-9006. According to CoinSchedule, BostonCoin raised $67 million. Given however that the token issuer is in Cayman Islands, this amount should be associated to Cayman Island Token issuer and not UAE. UNLOCK contacted Bolton team for clarification with regards to their STO and will update article when reply is provided.
As for GCBIB, UNLOCK spoke to one of its founding team members who is responsible for the commercial aspect of the project Mr. Mohammed Samir who stated, “ We are registered in the UAE as well as in Europe and in the next two years we plan to become the first fully regulated and licensed crypto bank on three continents.”
According to their whitepaper GCBIB will develop its technology on blockchain, AI and others to become a cryptocurrency based financial services blockchain platform. GCBIB plans to provide financial services to exchange crypto to fiat and also for merchants to receive crypto as a form of payment through point of sales, and many other crypto banking and digital services. Currently GCBIB is not registered in any Fintech sandbox in the UAE. Mr. Samir explained when asked, “We are already legally allowed to operate based on our current licenses and whatever else is needed we will be getting from other countries not the UAE.”
As for the amounts raised for GCBIB Mr. Samir told UNLOCK, “We raised around $148 million from investors from around the globe including MENA region, sub-Saharan Africa and we are being approached by banks in Africa to partner with us.” Mr. Samir admits that most of the funding was done during private sale as they don’t seem to have advertised their public sale on their social media platforms, website or other means.
GCBIB has two websites www.gcbib.eu which takes you to https://www.gcbib.ae/ and another totally different website https://www.gcbib.com/#home. The second website holds information on the project and ICO offering while the first on a company offering software solutions. Reviewing their whitepaper gives you some information but not much insight into their regulatory standing and technology as well as revenue streams. Mr. Samir states, “We did this on purpose as many times ideas from whitepapers get stolen and implemented elsewhere when placed online.”
The Bolton website states that Bolton holding is an innovative company dealing in the holding and managing of assets in high‐profit industries. BOLTON established the BFCLCoin to offer its clients the opportunity to benefit from BOLTON’s differing investment sources, balancing between the old and new economy in three major sectors real estate, cryptocurrency mining, and commodity trading. The BoltonCoin whitepaper is also available in its light version online.
It may be too early to tell, whether GCBIB and BoltonCoin will actually succeed and implement their whitepapers or whether they will turn out to be like one of the many failed blockchain based startups or even worse scams. What we do know is that investments into their projects have been made. Just because a company is registered in a free-zone in the UAE and subsequently holds an ICO or STO does not mean that the UAE has now become a hub for ICOs and STOs offerings and subsequent sales hub.
If UAE is taken out of the equation, CoinSchedule states that Singapore is leading followed by UK and Cayman Islands. Singapore and UK have some form of ICO and STO legislations in place which would make sense as to their ranking.
Even though the UAE has been a strong proponent of blockchain as technology, it has been weary of legislating and openly dealing with the crypto scene till now. It has neither endorsed nor out rightly condemned it. The UAE does intend to issue a legal policy with regards to ICOs, STOs, and cryptocurrencies and hopefully this will happen before year end. Until then any entities that market, sell, or register in the UAE are not actually officially launching their ICOs or STOs from the country.