The Gulf region and the overall MENA region are continuously implementing Blockchain projects that have a positive effect on their governments, economies, and financial sectors. One of the biggest announcements this week was that of Dubai Economic Department’s Blockchain KYC consortium with six leading UAE banks. The platform being used is from Norbloc which previously was one of the startups in DIFC.
The UAE also witnessed the launch of a blockchain enabled sugar trade platform in DMCC with Al Khaleej sugar and Universa Blockchain
In addition Egypt is steadily entering the blockchain scene with the recent agreement between Ripple and Al Ahli Bank for a remittance and payment solution.
But Blockchain is not the only news maker this week; crypto trading and crypto exchanges are also taking lead. One such announcement came from Burency crypto exchange in the UAE. Burency just opened up offices in Kuwait. This could mean Kuwait is finally opening up to crypto trading and cryptocurrencies. In the UAE a new crypto exchange launched as well. OKDAX announced it was launching its regulated crypto exchange both from DIFC as well as AGM
As if crypto exchanges were not enough, CoinsFera sells and buys crypto in the UAE and Turkey via cash payments. This is a first in the region given that Bitcoin ATMs are still not legal.
With all these implementations, and launchings, it is not surprising to see investments, accelerators and pitching competitions taking precedence. In the latest UAE Hackathon in Sharjah UAE Health box medicine application reached finalist list. Abu Dhabi Techstars accelerator accepted Fintech Blockchain based Definer into its cohort, and ADGM and Unbound will be launching fintech startup pitching competition in 30 cities globally.
Finally IDC Corporation recently reported that spending on Blockchain by MENA governments will reach 105 million USD by 2023.