Genesis Digital Assets Limited (GDA),a Bitcoin mining company with a presence in the UAE, is opening a new data center in Argentina powered by YPF Luz, a leading company in electric power generation.

The announcement comes during a period of expansion by GDA, which now operates 20 industrial-scale data centers across North America, South America, Europe, and Central Asia. The company’s first facility in South America is located in Rincón de Los Sauces, in the Neuquén Province and has a total capacity of 7 MW and 1 MW of backup.

The Bajo del Toro Thermal Power Plant, composed of YPF, Equinor and YPF Luz, will power 1,200 bitcoin mining machines, and efficiently monetize stranded gas, which would otherwise be flared into the atmosphere.

Speaking from the company’s Dubai office today, Abdumalik Mirakhmedov, Executive President of GDA, said: “We believe that Argentina is an important country for Bitcoin mining, given its abundance of energy sources and business-friendly environment.

“The opening of our first data center in South America is an important step in our geographic diversification efforts. And this will be yet another opportunity to show the world that Bitcoin mining can have a positive effect on the environment and can be fully integrated into local communities.”    

With an abundance of energy, a favorable political climate, and a strong crypto ethos, Argentina is becoming increasingly important for Bitcoin mining and the broader industry.

For the new data center, GDA will use the electricity generated from stranded gas provided YPF Luz, an electric power generation company that has been leading the energy transition since 2013.

As stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, methane gas adversely impacts the environment as it is responsible for approximately a third of the warming the world is experiencing. Methane mitigation techniques, such as the utilization of stranded gas, are important to reduce emissions and combat global warming.

“In 2022, we were the first Argentine company to generate electrical energy for cryptocurrency mining from flare gas, an innovative solution in line with YPF’s energy transition needs,” said Martín Mandarano, CEO of YPF Luz. “This project with GDA allows us to bring YPF and Equinor, two companies committed to reducing the carbon footprint of their exploration activities, an adaptable and sustainable flare gas use solution.”

UAE based Match Systems, a cyber security company specializing in AML (Anti Money Laundering) services, blockchain investigations, implementation of compliance procedures for cryptocurrency projects around the world has recovered $68 million of stolen Bitcoin crypto assets from Cryptex.

The incident occurred on May 3rd 2024, when a “dust” attack on cryptex exchange targeted a crypo whales resulting in the theft of 1,155.28 Bitcoins worth $68 million.

The stolen tokens were received by an unknown scammer to the address  0xd9A1C3788D81257612E2581A6ea0aDa244853a91, from which the funds were moved to the address 0xfB5bcA56A3824E58A2c77217fb667AE67000b7A6. After which the stolen funds began to be distributed in parts to several scammer’s addresses.

The victim immediately sought assistance from Match Systems. As a result of promptly conducted work, the assets were found and returned to the crypto whale in full in just a week.

As per the press release, this incident perfectly demonstrates that promptly contacting specialists in case of theft of crypto assets significantly increases the chances of the crypto fraud victim to get them back. Moreover, the earlier the victim seeks help, the higher the probability of getting the stolen funds back in full.

According to Match Systems the company provides unique information about cryptocurrency addresses involved in illegal activities, enabling them to protect participants of crypto market from blockages and losses.

In addition the company offers Compliance  & AML, Blockchain investigations (digital assets recovery), due Diligence, forensics/assets tracing (crypto and fiat), multi-account abuse detection and education.

In the past Match Systems had completed 23 cases retrieving $15 million. Examples of some of these cases, include Revil where damages amounted to $100 million and retrieved asset were $0.7 million, Hydra where damages amounted to $1.3 billion and retrieved assets found $3.2 million.

In the UAE, Match Systems works with UAE government including criminal investigation department, and digital forensics department.

Max Keisser the Bitcoin activist is at it again. Over the past months Max continues to make claims that a nation state is purchasing large amounts of Bitcoin. First, he pointed the finger at Qatar, claiming it would purchase $500 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Qatar obviously did not confirm or negate these claims; however, its central bank and government continue to prohibit the trading of cryptocurrencies noting the risky nature of these virtual assets. This has not stopped Qatar from embracing digital assets, and developing a regulatory framework as well as the digital assets Lab.

However, this has not discerned Keisser, he commented on an X (formerly twitter) post by Vivek4real that notes that an “undisclosed nation-state just bought another 100 Bitcoin. They now own 59K Bitcoin.”

Keisser comments on X that his new intelligence points to Abu Dhabi being the purchaser of Bitcoin. He states, “Just got some new intel . . .  Abu Dhabi is now the top contender.”

So now it is not Qatar but its Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.

This while still seeming farfetched, could be closer to the truth than assuming that Qatar is purchasing Bitcoin. First Abu Dhabi and the UAE in particular have been positively approaching virtual assets. Both Abu Dhabi’s ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) regulatory arm the FSRA as well as Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority (VARA) have come out with crypto regulations and have licensed crypto exchanges, and custodians.

Moreover Abu Dhabi is home to a Bitcoin mining farm co-owned and managed by Marathon Digital so it could be plausible that they are accumulating Bitcoin from revenues of the crypto mining farm. It is also the base of Phoenix Group another huge bitcoin mining investor.

So while Keisser continuously tries to allude to the fact that an rich oil country, or a country in the MENA region is buying up Bitcoin, the biggest governmental owners of Bitcoin are the United States, Britain, and Germany. They own the most Bitcoin according to Arkham Intelligence. The crypto analytics firm noted that the United States owns 212,847 Bitcoins.

What one can say for sure, is that the ownership of Bitcoin is falling more into the hands of institutional investors, and governments whether with Bitcoin ETFs or confiscated crypto.

U.S. based Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol (SBP), which aims to unlock Bitcoin’s potential to become the most transparent and sustainable asset has appointed UAE national, an entrepreneur and pioneer in nuclear energy technology, space industry and digital assets Ali AlNuaimi.

Ali Alnuaimi, will hold the position of advisor at Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol. As per the Xpost of SBP, “Ali brings a wealth of experience to Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol. His visionary leadership in launching the UAE’s 1st nuclear reactor & integrating blockchain technology into the energy & financial sectors is a testament to his expertise in sustainable #energy & technological innovation.”

The post adds, “Ali’s pioneering work in leveraging blockchain for energy sustainability aligns perfectly with the company’s objectives, promising to accelerate the adoption of #cleanenergy solutions in bitcoin mining.”

AlNuaimi holds other advisory roles in well renowned entities in the digital asset, AI and Blockchain fields. He is an advisor at, Marathon Digital, Gigaenergy, and Mysten Labs, the creators of Sui Blockchain.

He is also the Founder and Managing Director of AI firm Shafra.

SBP enables investors to hold verifiably sustainable BTC through the introduction of a new environmental commodity derived from clean energy bitcoin mining, called the Sustainable Bitcoin Certificate (SBC). SBC are paired with BTC 1 for 1 by investors. SBC financially incentivizes Bitcoin miners to use verified clean energy sources.

Finally, SBP’s certificate allows Bitcoin to become fully sustainable with transparent clean energy use without disrupting the fungibility of BTC.

Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol is turning environmental sustainability into an appreciating commodity, in turn supporting clean energy bitcoin miners and helping investors reach their ESG goals.

SBC are a new environmental commodity specifically designed to align Bitcoin mining with climate action. SBC incentivize verified clean energy use and waste methane mitigation, as well as mobilize capital from investors toward the energy transition.

The SBP aims to bring in new revenue and energy transparency by mining Bitcoin with clean energy.

UAE has become a hub for Bitcoin mining, whether with Marathon Digital in Abu Dhabi, or Phoenix Technology, could this be the starting point for digital assets mining, using nuclear energy available in Abu Dhabi?

Valour, issuer of exchange trade products (ETP) simplifying the access to digital assets, and a subsidiary of DeFi Technologies Inc, a financial technology company that bridges the gap between traditional capital markets, Web3 and decentralized finance, has opened a trading desk in the UAE.

Valour issues exchange traded products (“ETPs”) that enable retail and institutional investors to access digital assets like Bitcoin in a simple and secure way via their traditional bank account

According to the press release, this initiative marks a significant stride in the Company’s mission to enhance global accessibility to regulated digital assets and underscores its commitment to global growth through Valour and Valour Digital Securities Limited’s exchange-traded products (“ETPs”).

This expansion into the Middle East is a key element of Valour’s strategy to increase its product offerings and global footprint. The UAE was specifically chosen for its progressive regulatory environment, high cryptocurrency adoption rate—where an estimated 27% of the population engages in crypto ownership — and its embrace of blockchain technology across multiple sectors. These factors make it an ideal location for fostering growth and extending Valour’s reach into new markets.

As part of this strategic initiative, Valour aims to expand its assets under management (“AUM”) by launching 15 new ETP products in 2024, in addition to the 17 already listed in Europe, followed by another 30 in 2025. This ambitious expansion plan capitalizes on the growth potential of the digital asset ecosystem, demonstrating Valour’s commitment to innovation and its leading role in the digital asset market.

Olivier Roussy Newton, CEO of DeFi Technologies, commented, “The launch of our trading desk in the UAE signifies a pivotal moment for both Valour and DeFi Technologies as we expand our global outreach. This is more than just entering a new market; it’s about integrating into a dynamic and evolving financial landscape that the Middle East represents. We are excited to embark on this journey, leveraging the UAE as a gateway to broader horizons and setting the stage for growth and opportunity.”

The establishment of a trading desk in the UAE represents the first phase of Valour’s plans for geographical expansion.  Valour is ideally positioned to leverage the increasing global demand for regulated and trusted access to digital assets and the rapidly expanding Web 3 ecosystem.

With a dedicated focus on industry-leading Web3 technologies, DeFi Technologies aims to provide widespread investor access to the future of finance.

UAE based ADNEC Group, an events management company, will be holding the first Bitcoin MENA Conference in partnership with Bitcoin Magazine and Capital events. The Bitcoin MENA Conference 2024 is set to take place December 9-10th in the heart of Abu Dhabi at the ADNEC Centre Abu Dhabi.

The event will be co-organized by Capital Events, the event management arm of ADNEC Group, and BTC Inc., the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine and the Bitcoin 2024 conference. The seminal partnership was cemented by a high-profile signing ceremony between Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, MD and Group CEO of ADNEC Group and David Bailey, CEO of BTC Inc. The launch of this event marks a significant milestone in the world’s largest Bitcoin conference’s expansion into the investment-friendly, dynamic, and rapidly growing MENA region.

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group said: “Organizing this conference in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reinforces its status as a regional and global epicenter for cryptocurrencies. It provides the region with a crucial platform for dialogue, discourse, and the sharing of knowledge and insights in this domain, contributing to shaping the sector’s regional trajectory for the future. The strategic collaboration with BTC Inc. to host the inaugural Bitcoin MENA Conference underscores the increasing global interest in investing in decentralized digital currencies in recent years. This partnership reflects our anticipation of future growth trends within this leading investment field.”

The Bitcoin Conference, produced by BTC Inc., is the world’s largest and most globally recognized conference brand dedicated to advancing the understanding and adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. With a mission to foster collaboration and innovation, the conference brand brings together key stakeholders from across the global Bitcoin ecosystem to shape the future of Bitcoin and exhibit the latest developments, technology, and services.

Throughout this two-day event, participants will delve into the potential, challenges, and innovations within the developing Bitcoin ecosystem. Showcasing an impressive roster of expert speakers and influencers in the Bitcoin space, Bitcoin MENA is set to present a dynamic agenda complete with engaging keynote sessions, interactive discussions, and insightful workshops on key industry topics. These include the emergence of a new wave of banking and finance within the Bitcoin space, the dynamics of Mining, and the competition for energy dominance, along with insights into open-source initiatives tailored for the technical minds in the Bitcoin community.

Additionally, Bitcoin MENA 2024 will offer a variety of networking opportunities, fostering meaningful international and regional connections among participants whilst also providing a platform to showcase cutting-edge innovations and the latest developments in Bitcoin technology and services.

David Bailey, CEO of BTC Inc. noted, “Across our ecosystem, we have seen a significant upsurge in interest to enter the MENA region. When visiting Abu Dhabi, it became clear that it had all the right ingredients – infrastructure, investment, bold vision, and global access – to provide a perfect home for the international Bitcoin community to tap into the boundless opportunities this vibrant region has to offer. Capital Events and ADNEC Group are the ideal partners to collaborate with us on this journey as they bring world-class infrastructure and deep connections within the region to help supercharge growth and quickly establish Bitcoin MENA as the region’s go-to event.”

Darren Johnson, CEO of Capital Events added, “We are extremely excited to be partnering with BTC Inc. on this vital launch of Bitcoin MENA. Abu Dhabi’s increasing adoption of blockchain technology and friendly progressive regulatory environment have resulted in several high-profile industry licenses being awarded, thereby firmly positioning Abu Dhabi as the optimal hub for the flourishing adoption of Bitcoin in the region. It was clear early on in our discussions with BTC Inc. that we shared the same vision of creating an exceptional world-class event that would serve as a cornerstone in the region’s thriving Bitcoin landscape. We are confident that their deep specialist experience and global industry connections, coupled with our multi-sectoral experience and regional footprint, will make for a memorable launch and long-term growth.”

In what could be called a first, a UAE top official noted that the UAE governmental entities and authorities in the UAE will accept Bitcoin, and other crypto currencies for donations this Ramadan.

UAE newspaper, Khaleej Times in an article stated, that a UAE top official has noted that authorized individuals and entities collecting funds during Ramadan will accept Bitcoin and other digital currency payments. This comes as Bitcoin surges past the $60,000 mark.

In a press conference held by the Ministry of Community Development, Mohammed Naqi, Director of Non-Benefit Public Associations Department and Mona Khalil, Director of Government Communications also noted that unauthorized individuals and entities collecting funds during Ramadan will be liable for fines up to Dh500,000 or even imprisonment.

The ministry said restaurants will not be allowed to directly donate food boxes to mosques.

Mohammed Naqi, Director of Non-Benefit Public Associations Department, said, “A fine not less than Dh500,000, or imprisonment, shall be imposed on anyone who collects or receives donations from outside the UAE in violation of the applicable regulations and procedures.”

He added: “A fine not exceeding Dh150,000 and not less than Dh300,00 or imprisonment, shall be imposed on anyone who uses donation funds for purposes other than those accepted or collected for. A fine one of Dh100,000 shall be imposed on any entity that labels itself as a “charitable or humanitarian “association, organization or institution without obtaining certification from the competent authority.”

Only 34 approved entities, mainly charitable organizations and government entities, will be permitted to receive and collect donations for Ramadan, the ministry said.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be accepted alongside traditional methods of raising funds like cash with receipts, vouchers, SMS, markets, exhibitions, auctions, charity events and monthly deductions from personal bank accounts.

In 2019 The Ministry of Community Development, had launched a blockchain payment gateway in partnership with Dubai Blockchain center.

Morgan Stanley, which is said to be eyeing a Bitcoin ETF, has announced the opening of its office in Abu Dhabi at ADGM. The firm has expanded its footprint in the Middle East. The firm already has offices in Riyadh, Dubai, and Qatar.

Commenting on the new office, Clare Woodman, Head of Morgan Stanley EMEA and CEO of Morgan Stanley & Co International plc, said “We are delighted to be expanding our regional presence and commitment by opening an office in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). There are exciting times ahead for the MENA region and as capital markets activity continues to grow and diversify it brings new and rewarding opportunities for both regional and global investors.”

Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM, continued “We welcome Morgan Stanley, a pioneer in the global financial services industry to Abu Dhabi and its thriving International Financial Centre. This expansion underscores the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi and its value proposition as a preferred destination for global players seeking strategic growth opportunities for their business, showcasing our commitment to fostering a conducive ecosystem that drives sustainable economic development in the UAE and beyond.”

Patrick Delivanis, Regional Co-Head of MENA at Morgan Stanley commented, “We have a highly sophisticated investor base in the MENA region, and opening an office in Abu Dhabi allows us to broaden our footprint and further deliver local and regional clients access to Morgan Stanley’s leading institutional securities business as well as our renowned asset management franchise, and increasingly, global clients access to the regional market.”

The opening of an office in ADGM, well known for its virtual assets regulatory regime is interesting as Morgan Stanely is said to be deciding on whether or not it will offer Bitcoin ETFs to customers.

As per a CoinDesk article, Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley is in the midst of performing due diligence to add spot bitcoin ETF products to its brokerage platform, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

One of the people said Morgan Stanley, which is among the largest U.S. broker-dealer platforms, has been evaluating offering spot bitcoin ETFs to clients since the Securities and Exchange Commission approved their introduction in the U.S. in January.

There are 10 spot bitcoin ETFs now trading in the U.S. The ones with the most assets are Grayscale’s GBTC, BlackRock’s IBIT and Fidelity’s FBTC. It’s not clear which ones Morgan Stanley is looking to offer to its clients.

Morgan Stanley, a leader in the alternative investments and private market space with over $150 billion in assets under management, was the first major U.S. bank to offer its wealthy clients access to bitcoin funds in 2021. The bank confirmed during its first-quarter earnings call in April 2021 that it was offering its wealth management clients exposure to bitcoin via a pair of external crypto funds.

The wealth management firm’s former CFO, Jonathan Pruzan, said at the time that the bank was allowing qualified investors to gain access to two passive funds. It is understood that these funds were offered by Galaxy Digital and NYDIG.

UAE based MintLayer, a layer 2 blockchain that utilizes Dynamic Slot Allocation (DSA) consensus merging Proof-Of-Stake and Bitcoin technologies to make decentralized financial markets attack-proof,  will be launching its mainnet on January 29th 2024 and is planning tokenize real-estate assets starting from Dubai UAE.

Already MintLayer has received investments from a substantial number of venture capitalists including some residing in the UAE such as Phoenix crypto VC, Sheesha Finance, Varys Capital and others.

Zaid Ismail Chief Operations officer at MintLayer, based out of Dubai UAE, on LinkedIn states,“ 90% of the world’s millionaires made their fortunes through real estate, but it’s highly inaccessible, illiquid, and complicated – that’s where MintLayer comes in! Starting with Dubai, we are on a mission to fractionalize real estate ownership one country at a time.”

In an interview on Bitcoin News, he discussed how tokenized real-world assets are an appealing portfolio for modern investors.

He told Bitcoin News that despite recently garnering much of the world’s attention, traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including spot Bitcoin ETFs, are still inferior to tokenized real-world assets (RWA).

He added,” Tokenized RWAs also come with increased transparency, reduced costs, and direct ownership making them a more versatile and appealing choice for modern investors seeking portfolio diversification.”

He notes in the interview that traditional finance institutions are also starting to get involved in tokenized RWAs. They are testing the waters and will need to work with regulators to adapt existing regulations to the changing landscape.

Ismail emphasizes that with MintLayer the process is simplified, reducing hassles for asset owners. With MintLayer, tokenization is embedded and simple, so non-technical users can issue tokens easily without having to use deployment contracts like on Ethereum.

Additionally, Mintlayer Institutional is building a SaaS platform for institutional clients that will help to simplify the process of issuing, monitoring and dealing with all the compliance aspects required for tokenization.

The MintLayer network, and its UTXO infrastructure, allows batching multiple transactions into a single one, saving space and lowering the fees. Furthermore, their HTLC smart contract embedded in MintLayer will allow atomic swaps and lightning network integration, allowing a way to route transactions on a peer-to-peer network that doesn’t require it to be permanently saved forever on the blockchain.

Mintlayer has a  low node requirements are pivotal in fostering a more inclusive and decentralized network allowing anyone with a standard PC, or even a Raspberry Pi, can run a node is a testament to the democratization of blockchain technology.

UAE and Bahrain regulated crypto exchange CoinMENA expands its family office, investor and institutional offering through a partnership with Onramp Bitcoin. Onramp is an international Bitcoin asset management company built on multi institutional custody.

Onramp’s platform provides best-in-class products and solutions for HNWI, Family Offices, and Institutions to onboard Bitcoin.

In addition the partnership aims to empower MENA investors with high-quality Bitcoin educational resources such as proprietary written research, rich video content and analytic tools.

Both companies are poised to explore innovative custody solutions designed specifically for institutional investors. The collaboration comes on the heels of Onramp’s recent announcement of a partnership with BitGo, CoinMENA’s current custody partner.

In a joint statement, CoinMENA’s founders, Talal Tabbaa and Dina Sam’an said, “We are excited because this partnership fills a market gap for premium Bitcoin market research, and aligns with our educational approach to empower regional investors to invest in Bitcoin based on sound logic and a deep understanding of its unique and fundamental properties. As Bitcoin evolves into a mainstream international asset class, providing insightful analysis becomes essential for investors and asset managers, guiding them in making confident, long-term investment decisions.”

Onramp Co-Founder and CEO Michael Tanguma added “Onramp recognizes that Bitcoin is a global asset, necessitating the broad dissemination of valuable Bitcoin-focused educational resources across the world – research, podcasts, webinars, data-driven tools like the Onramp Terminal – access to these types of high-quality materials, combined with a first principles approach to custody, is the recipe for successful long-term Bitcoin ownership. We are excited to partner with the team to provide tools and education to one of the fastest-growing regions in the digital asset space.”

This comes just after the USA regulators allowed the launch of Bitcoin ETFs.