The Saudi Arabian, Communications, Space, and Technology Commission  has extended the registration period for the Emerging Technologies Regulatory Sandbox to March 31, 2024. The Emerging Technologies regulatory sandbox is open for technologies such as Blockchain, IoT, and cloud computing, space technology, AR/VR/XR and 3D printing.

This decision supports the nation’s commitment to innovation and technological advancements, offering entrepreneurs and innovators the opportunity to experiment with cutting-edge products, solutions, and business models within a flexible regulatory framework.

By allowing additional time for registrations, the CST is inviting a broader spectrum of innovators to leverage this platform, thereby enhancing inclusivity and diversity in the market. This initiative is part of a broader effort to foster a conducive environment for launching innovative business models, solutions, or services, with the ultimate aim of supporting entrepreneurs and innovators in bringing their visions to life.

The commission’s recent collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the announcement of the winners of the Internet of Things Challenge 2023 are prime examples of its active involvement in nurturing talent and encouraging technological innovation.

This comes at the heel of the signing of the Deep tech Venture Studio between The Hashgraph Association and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment.

All this is a reflection of the Kingdom’s aim to attract more emerging tech startups and companies to the country.

UAE Mubadala Capital, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment, sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi UAE, has offered significant support and backing to RW3 Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on Blockchain. RW3 announced $60 million in capita commitments.

In addition to the support of Mubadala, The Raptor Group, has also support RW3 Ventures.

Launched in 2021 in partnership with The Raptor Group, the family office of Jim Pallotta, RW3 Ventures supports early-stage companies building disruptive blockchain infrastructure and decentralized applications and protocols.

As per the press release, the firm takes a collaborative, hands-on approach to help founders in Web3 grow and scale their platforms. In addition to deploying capital, RW3 Ventures is uniquely positioned to help startups hire talent, build communities, and enhance their technical research and development capabilities.

The RW3 team boasts a significant level of operating and investing experience at some of the largest digital asset firms and financial institutions, and brings an extensive network of relationships throughout the blockchain ecosystem.

The team is led by, Pete Najarian, Founder and Managing Partner. Pete previously served as the Chief Revenue Officer of BitGo from 2019 to 2021, where he helped lead the company through its most dramatic period of growth. Prior to that, he served as a Senior Vice President- Institutions at Xapo, which was acquired by Coinbase in 2019. Pete also brings considerable traditional markets experience having served as global co-head of the emerging markets businesses for two of the world’s largest financial institutions.

Also involved is Joe Bruzzesi, Partner. Joe previously served as a Managing Director at BitGo from 2020 to 2022, where he oversaw the Americas division and led over $10 billion in transactions involving some of the largest crypto protocols, companies, and funds. Joe is also one of the earliest advisors to Avalanche.

Pete Najarian, Founder and Managing Partner of RW3 , stated,“Blockchain technology is fundamentally changing the way the world transacts and manages value, services, and data. While there are many talented founders in the industry with revolutionary ideas, most are in need of operational experience and support to drive their businesses forward. At RW3 we leverage our experience developing and scaling some of the largest crypto infrastructure firms to help our portfolio companies around the world meet their full potential. The combined networks of RW3 and Raptor are already proving to be unique and powerful in this space.”

“Pete and Joe’s disciplined, methodical, and institutional approach to the digital asset markets is based on their years of experience helping companies scale in growth markets and manage risk through volatility,” said Jim Pallotta. “Blockchain companies have the potential to be among the most valuable enterprises in the future, and we believe the best investment opportunities will present themselves over the next 36 months. I believe the RW3 team is exceptionally well-positioned to identify the most promising companies of tomorrow and help them grow.”

Fund I seeks to capitalize on RW3’s institutional approach, extensive network of blockchain ecosystem relationships, and differentiated operating model to bring transformative growth to its portfolio companies. The Fund targets opportunities from pre-seed through Series A and places an emphasis on teams that seek to utilize blockchain technology to disrupt real-world industries and business models with sizeable addressable markets. To date, the Fund has made several investments across blockchain protocols, decentralized infrastructure, fully homomorphic encryption, and gaming.

In the past Mubadala has supported and backed blockchain companies, such as Andalusia Labs, formerly known as RiskHarbor, which raised $48 million in a series A funding round and sets up its global headquarters in UAE Abu Dhabi in ADGM ( Abu Dhabi Global Market).

UAE based Fils, agroundbreaking ESG-focused digital infrastructure fintech which utilizes blockchain technology, has partnered with Telr, the award-winning online payment gateway.

Blockchain enabled, Fils is collaborating with Telr to integrate its end-to-end sustainable infrastructure to make finance and payments more sustainable and transparent. By Integrating Fils Technology, Telr will enable merchants to track their emissions and access voluntary carbon markets to mitigate the emissions’ harm to the environment. They will also be able to demonstrate their positive impact on the environment with robust reporting functionality, reduced greenwashing, and the encouragement of businesses to invest in sustainable initiatives through Fils’ marketplace.

The new capability adds to Telr’s existing suite of services, aiming to elevate e-commerce businesses seamlessly and efficiently with a one-stop-shop philosophy. This encompasses a variety of financial and business services, ranging from social commerce and QR codes to digital invoicing, Telr Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), and Telr Finance—a dedicated program for merchant financing.

Nameer Khan, CEO and Founder of Fils, said, “Today’s exciting partnership with Telr will make a real impact in tackling the issues of climate change, providing access to carbon markets via our robust and transparent infrastructure. Our technology-first approach to sustainable action enables SMEs, large corporates and other organizations to seamlessly embed sustainability throughout their global operations.”

Telr, the UAE-based award-winning payment gateway solutions provider, facilitates transactions in over 30 currencies and supports over 120 languages. Telr, as a leading payments aggregator, enables businesses to connect to all payment schemes and manage financial and business services as a one-stop shop for ecommerce solutions. Telr’s collaboration with Fils will enable organizations to track and mitigate emissions seamlessly, increasing the sustainability of payment operations across the globe.

Khalil Alami, Founder and CEO of Telr, added, “This partnership underscores our unwavering dedication to driving sustainable finance. By leveraging Telr’s expertise and partnering with exceptional entities like Fils, we aim to reshape transactions.This effort promotes a more sustainable economy, empowering our merchants with access to emissions calculators to monitor their carbon footprint and emissions-reduction tools. These initiatives align with the ‘Net Zero by 2050’ strategy and are synchronized with COP28, highlighting our commitment to a brighter, more sustainable future.” 

Fils’s alliance with Telr builds on an impressive year of high-profile partnerships for the fintech company,  with clients such as e& Enterprise, Magnati, Mashreq Bank, Flowcarbon and AFS. 

Prior to this announcement, Geidea, recognized as one of the 25 top Fintech companies by Forbes Middle East, partnered with Fils.

Phoenix Group UAE a multi-billion-dollar tech powerhouse headquartered in the UAE focusing on blockchain, crypto, and tech revolution and boasting a 725MW mining operation, announced exceptional financial performance for 2023. Fueled by a robust vision for the future, the Group saw remarkable achievements across core business verticals, making significant strides in 2023 capped off with a landmark IPO on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.

As per a press release, the company’s core hosting and crypto self-mining businesses witnessed substantial growth year on year growth of 119% and 480%, respectively. This success stemmed from strategic partnerships with high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), power supply companies, and mining equipment manufacturers, solidifying a foundation for continued growth in the coming years.

In addtion the company witnessed 50% growth in net income year on year reflecting the overall financial strength of Phoenix. Impressive revenue growth in hosting and crypto self-mining, coupled with strong performance from digital asset investments and associate investee companies, fueled this remarkable result.

“Our success has been impressive, but 2024 promises to be truly transformative. With ambitious plans and an unwavering commitment to excellence, the group is poised to redefine success, not just in the UAE, but on a global scale”, said Seyed Mohammad Alizadehfard (Bijan), Co Founder and Group CEO.

Phoenix recently announced the acquisition valued at more than half a million dollars ($577,074) in one of its related parties, Phoenix Technology Solutions B.V. based out of the Netherlands.

UAE Phoenix Group, a Web3 holding group, which has major investments in crypto mining, blockchain projects, and a UAE crypto exchange M2 has confirmed its acquisition valued at more than half a million dollars ($577,074) in one of its related parties, Phoenix Technology Solutions B.V. based out of the Netherlands.

As per Board decision documents, the Phoenix Group board believes that the acquisition will increase the company’s and group’s visibility in the European market and serve as a direct marketing medium in European market.

The acquired private company Phoenix Technology Solutions B.V. is located in Amsterdam and is active in the wholesale industry in computers, peripherals and software.

Phoenix Group has been investing heavily in several sectors over the past year. This is not the first half a billion investment, earlier this year UAE Phoenix Blockchain, crypto mining group purchased a total of $567 million of Bitcoin mining Hardware.

Phoenix Group PLC, also strategically invested in Lyvely, a UAE-based platform poised to reshape how creators and consumers interact and monetize online.

In November 2023 Phoenix Group, carried out the first crypto mining entity IPO in listing on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.

Since then it has invested in M2 the first locally launched licensed crypto exchange out of Abu Dhabi UAE.

Phoenix Group has expanded its market presence with a crypto mining facility in Oman, and now seems to be expanding its presence and exposure in Europe.

Myco, a blockchain video streaming platform with a major footprint in MENA has secured the digital streaming rights for HBL PSL Season 9 & 10. The 2024 Pakistan Super League (PSL 9) will span 31 days, starting on February 17 and concluding on March 18, with a total of 34 matches scheduled across four venues: Karachi (11 matches), Lahore and Rawalpindi (9 matches each), and Multan (5 matches).

As per the press release, this milestone not only reshapes the landscape of digital sports streaming but promises an unparalleled cricket viewing experience for fans in Pakistan.

Cricket enthusiasts can now enjoy the thrilling HBL PSL matches in HD for free on myco. The Blockchain enabled platform’s unique “Watch & Earn” model elevates the viewer experience by allowing them not only to enjoy the game but also empowers viewers to earn based on their watch time. Engaged viewers become stakeholders in the advertising revenues generated by the platform, delivering an interactive and rewarding experience to sports viewing.

The integration with myco’s payment partner, Simpaisa, enhances the unique “Watch & Earn” model where users can easily withdraw their earnings directly into 35+ bank accounts and all major digital wallets in Pakistan, adding a seamless and convenient aspect to the rewarding experience.

The success trajectory of myco gained momentum during the ICC World Cup 2023, where it emerged as the preferred choice for cricket enthusiasts. Trending at the top positions on both app stores and play stores, myco distributed over 20 million PKR worth of advertising revenue to more than 250,000 highly engaged viewers.

The platform continues with its streaming of various cricket leagues in Pakistan & globally, including ILT20, SAT20, and SPL. Myco boasts a rich history of collaborations, having partnered with PCB, English Premier League, and the Emirates Cricket Board, as well as major squash, tennis, and racing festivals worldwide.

With a global presence spanning 204 countries and a user base exceeding 6.5 million registered users, myco offers an extensive library comprising over 500,000 content items, ranging from documentaries and films to a diverse array of creator and influencer partnerships, alongside live sports.

Somair Rizvi, Co-Founder & COO myco, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are committed to bringing premium sporting events and content libraries to our Pakistani viewers. This move strengthens our dedication to providing top-notch quality entertainment while empowering our viewers to have a sustainable stake within the content economy both from a financial and creative standpoint.”

Recently myco Blockchain video streaming application disrupted the sports streaming space by become the first to offer exclusive live sports in a watch&earn model with participation from top global brands as advertising partners.

In a recent X statement, Onramp Money a provider of fiat-to-crypto onramp solutions, offering a seamless and secure way for users to trade cryptocurrencies using their fiat currencies, and self-custodial crypto wallet Metamask announced that users in the UAE can buy 300 + digital assets using the AED currency directly through Metamask.

As stated, “Breakthrough in the UAE, Now users I the UAE can buy 300+ digital assets with AED directly within metamask using OnRamp Money.”

his integration allows MetaMask users in the UAE to buy over 300 digital assets with Emirati Dirham (AED) directly through the MetaMask mobile app and Portfolio Dapp, facilitated by instant bank transfers.

As per a blog post, Onramp Money’s integration provides a seamless, fast, and secure method to access web3 and acquire tokens conveniently, without the need to navigate the complexities of centralised crypto exchanges.

The Blog post adds, “The integration with Onramp Money in MetaMask to support Emirati Dirham (AED) is a pivotal development for the cryptocurrency industry in the UAE, especially in Dubai. It signifies a major leap in making digital asset transactions more accessible, efficient, and integrated into everyday financial activities.”

This is not the first announcement that Metamask makes in an Arab country. In December 2023, MetaMask self-custody crypto wallet announced that it had partnered with several entities across the globe including Egyptian payment provider Vodafone Cash to offer new ways to onboard crypto around the world.

Metamask has currently 30 million users.

Conflux Blockchain, a Layer 1 Blockchain, enters the UAE and partners with UAE’s RAK Digital Assets Oasis (RAKDAO) to develop the Blockchain and digital asset sector.

Conflux’s collaboration with RAK DAO represents a mutual commitment to leverage the strengths and expertise of both partners. This partnership is founded on shared goals and visions, including advocating for blockchain-friendly regulations to foster an environment instrumental to blockchain and digital asset development in the region.

Additionally, the collaboration will cultivate talent and provide valuable educational resources, nurturing a skilled workforce in the blockchain sector. Furthermore, we will facilitate opportunities for businesses and startups in the region to explore and integrate blockchain technologies, thereby amplifying prospects in the digital economy.

Both Conflux and RAK DAO will explore avenues of cooperation in sharing expertise and knowledge to achieve mutual benefits and foster collaboration  as well as incubation and acceleration programs, educational initiatives, and community-building events and workshops in blockchain technologies/

RAK DAO will help Conflux establish a presence in the UAE and the broader Middle East region, while Conflux will develop custom blockchain solutions for digital and virtual asset companies within RAK DAO.

RAK DAO, a strategic initiative by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, is dedicated to fostering the growth of digital assets and blockchain technology within the region. With its progressive policies and supportive ecosystem, RAK DAO is rapidly becoming a hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.

This announcement comes shortly after the visit of Vitalik Buterin to RAK DAO Oasis.

Thailand based, Nakamoto Games is entering the Saudi Arabian market through four key partnerships that will include the launching of tournaments, hackathons, educational content in a drive to increase adoption o Web3 Blockchain gaming. Nakamoto will be collaborating with Arabian Gaming Guild.

According to the press release, this initiative marks an important step for the play-to-earn arcade gaming platform as it enters the Middle East’s largest market.

Nakamoto and Arabian Gaming Guild will bring a series of GameFi tournaments to Saudi Arabia, anticipated to be some of the most substantial play-to-earn events in the region. This effort is expected to drive further adoption of Web3 gaming among local players.

Education plays a critical role in Nakamoto Games’ strategy, with a partnership with Yalgamers designed to inform the local population about blockchain gaming benefits. This includes campaigns on crypto, GameFi, and play-to-earn mechanisms, with support from the Arabian Gaming Guild for streaming and onboarding.

Local offline gaming events are also on the agenda, facilitated by Nakamoto Games’ partnership with GamifierSA. These tournaments, hosted in top gaming stadiums across the region, aim to draw large audiences and feature well-known Saudi players on the blockchain gaming platform.

In addition, there are plans for a series of hackathons focused on blockchain game development is planned in collaboration with HackathonX. These events, expected to be the largest in the region, will be supported by notable Saudi media and the government, with the goal of introducing new games to the Nakamoto Games platform through these Web3-centric hackathons.

Blockchain and Web3 Company, Sastanaqqam, has relocated its headquarters to Dubai UAE. It will be present at the One Central district in Dubai at the end of March.

One Central has become a pivotal hub for cryptocurrency enterprises, known for its state-of-the-art facility and a business-friendly regulatory environment. This district houses notable crypto entities like Bybit’s global headquarters and the, a hub for cryptographic and blockchain technologies.

Sastanaqqam’s relocation to One Central reflects its alignment with Dubai’s vision as a leader in technological advancement and financial innovation. “Our move to One Central isn’t just a relocation; it’s a strategic decision to integrate with a community at the forefront of blockchain and digital currencies,” said Azzi Mohamed Mbarek, COO of Sastanaqqam.

The decision to establish a base in One Central, alongside pioneering crypto platforms such as Deribit, underscores Sastanaqqam’s ambion to be at the forefront of the crypto revolution. Dubai’s One Central offers an environment ripe for collaboration, innovation, and growth, making it an ideal location for Sastanaqqam’s expansion.

In anticipation of this significant move, Sastanaqqam is ramping up its recruitment efforts, aiming to attract top talent in blockchain and fintech. The new office in One Central will be equipped with the latest technology and designed to foster innovation and collaboration.

Local businesses and the community in One Central are excited about Sastanaqqam’s arrival. “Sastanaqqam’s addion to One Central is not just a boost to our local economy; it also reinforces our status as a leading tech and financial hub,” shared One central business development team.

Established in 2021, Sastanaqqam is a company specializing in blockchain and Web 3.0 technologies, with a focus on integrating art, gaming, and DeFi to create a comprehensive digital ecosystem.