AlephZero, a layer 1 blockchain that allows the deployment of Web3 applications quickly, securely and at low cost has collaborated with Saudi Telecom Company, STC global Venture capitalist as well as T-Mobile, for its upcoming Hackathon called CTRL+Hack+ZK. The Hackathon will start on January 10th 2024 until January 31st 2024.

The winners of the Hackathon will receive up to $75k bounties and up to $500k EFP funding.

CTRL + HACK + ZK is the premier hacking event for Aleph Zero, the highly scalable blockchain platform with blazing speed and state-of-the-art privacy engine. The Hackathon will include 3-week journey of workshops, educational programming, and hands-on mentorship with the core dev team and ecosystem partners.

There are various tracks one of them is the Telco track which will challenge participants to redefine the future of telecommunications using Aleph Zero’s cutting-edge features by optimizing infrastructure or even creating new services.

Another track is the DiD track which explores identity-related solutions such as AZERO.ID, leveraging Aleph Zero’s native privacy stack to enable secure and decentralized identity management. Also included in the Hackathon is the  Tooling track which focuses on developing applications, node providers, libraries, and tools that enhance the developer experience and ecosystem around Aleph Zero, and finally the gaming track for building gaming solutions such as in-game items as NFTs smart contract templates for payouts and collectibles, or indexers for gaming data, the possibilities are endless. 

The Final track is DeFi where developers are encouraged to leverage its robust infrastructure and create unique financial solutions that help expand the ecosystem’s functionality.

Saudi Arabia has shown interest in developing CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currencies) as well as utilization of blockchain for tokenization projects. The collaboration of Saudi’s telecom conglomerate STC is another reflection of the Kingdom’s interest in Blockchain and its solutions.

The Saudi Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) is working to patent a Blockchain system for smart stabilization for CBDCs and digital assets after receiving a positive evaluation for its Blockchain smart stabilization system patent

The Biggest South Korean blockchain enabled game developer, Wemade has announced its collaboration with UAE’s Dubai Chambers to develop the blockchain gaming ecosystem in Dubai and UAE.

The two are in talks to contribute to game development industry initiatives. A meeting between Henry Chang, the CEO of Wemade and  H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers  marked the next phase of Wemade’s efforts to support and grow blockchain gaming ecosystems in Dubai and the UAE.

As an advocate for the interests of Dubai’s business community, Dubai Chambers serves as a bridge connecting the local business community with Dubai’s dynamic government and is committed to ensuring a thriving environment in which businesses can flourish. The chamber seeks to facilitate and improve the ease of doing business in the emirate and advance Dubai’s position as a highly competitive global commercial center.

“The UAE is among the most dynamic regions building the next generation of games and gaming industry talent with Dubai and key stakeholders including Dubai Chambers playing an important role,” said Henry Chang, CEO, Wemade. “Wemade will focus on working with Dubai Chambers to explore how we can contribute our expertise and technology to support key initiatives including the Dubai Program for Gaming 2033.”

H.E. Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, commented: “We are pleased to initiate this collaboration with Wemade, which will contribute to driving innovation in the UAE’s rapidly evolving digital ecosystem. Dubai’s growing influence in the global gaming and blockchain arenas reflects our dedication to fostering an ecosystem that is rich in technological expertise. We remain committed to further strengthening the emirate’s position as a leading global hub at the heart of the digital economy.”

Unveiled recently by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), the Dubai Program for Gaming 2033 set out major industry goals. These are: to position Dubai among the top 10 cities in the global gaming industry; generate 30,000 new jobs in the gaming sector; significantly boost the sector’s contribution to the growth of Dubai’s digital economy; and increase the GDP by approximately US$1 billion by 2033.

The Sandbox metaverse has announced further expansion into Saudi Arabia through a partnership with SandSoft, a Saudi based game developer, publishers, and investor powered by AAA talent.

Sandsoft will be a key partner in The Sandbox’s expansion into Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and will also be a driver in attracting local talent in the video game sector and growing education and job opportunities within the region.

The collaboration aims at building a team of Web3 gaming experts to create partnerships with local public and private industry actors, entertainment, IPs & Brands and celebrities to explore opportunities in gamified social experiences in The Sandbox, and to empower local creative talent by educating and onboarding developers and artists into its ecosystem.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Sandsoft in bringing new creators to contribute towards the open Metaverse and develop together a virtual neighborhood on our map. This partnership will allow brands and creators across Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to discover the creative opportunities The Sandbox provides,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. “It will also enrich The Sandbox’s global ecosystem with Saudi Arabia’s rich culture and history.”

“The Sandbox has great potential for game developers, creatives, brands and consumers from the Middle East and North Africa,” said David Fernandez, CEO of Sandsoft. “We’re pleased to announce this collaboration, which will drive opportunities for vibrant and diverse communities in Saudi Arabia and beyond, expanding on Sandsoft’s existing initiatives to nurture talent in the local gaming ecosystem.”

With a diverse global team of more than 60 people, Sandsoft is on a trajectory to become a leading mobile-first gaming powerhouse. Sandsoft’s ‘Press Start’ internship program aims to provide opportunities for talented young people in Saudi Arabia to enhance their game development skills under the supervision of leading games industry figures including VP Studio Yahsir Qureshi (formerly of EA, Zynga) and CTO Ahmed Sharif (previously at Meta, Sony, EA).

BITMAIN, crypto mining leading ASIC manufacturer enters MENA through a collaboration with Oman’s Blockchain Data center and technology park Exahertz and MoonWalk. This collaboration marks a significant leap forward as Exahertz takes on the role of hosting upwards of 10,000 state-of-the-art BITMAIN machines in the pioneering Exahertz Technology Park, nestled in Salalah, Oman. According to the press release, “This isn’t just any partnership, it’s BITMAIN‘s first-ever hosting venture in the Middle East and a groundbreaking initiative for hydro computers worldwide.

The Exahertz Technology Park, standing tall as the Middle East’s largest private Blockchain Data center, underscores Exahertz’ unwavering commitment to innovation and progress.” Exahertz International, recently kicked off a pilot phase of Exahertz Technology Park in Salalah. In collaboration with their strategic partners Moonwalk Systems, they rigorously testing and optimizing the hydro systems to ensure peak performance in local conditions and challenges. An impressive highlight by Exahertz Team involves using treated grey water to efficiently cool down the data center computers.

This innovative approach maximizes efficiency while staying environmentally responsible. The treated grey water, after being thoroughly cleaned, is returned to the earth responsibly, reflecting the commitment to eco-friendly practices. Jad Fredrick Kharma, CEO of Exahertz, articulate his vision, affirming, “Our mission transcends the introduction and adoption of cutting-edge technology; we are unwavering in our commitment to elevate Oman’s proficiency and prominence within the domains of modular IT infrastructure, the innovative design of hyper-scale data centers, and the cutting-edge landscape of high-performance blockchain technology.

In Sam Ferdows’ words, the CEO of Moonwalk Systems, “We’re excited about this partnership with BITMAIN and look forward to being a key partner for them in the region. Our goal is for Exahertz Technology Park to be the benchmark for all blockchain data centers in the region and the world for hydro solutions.” BITMAIN‘s Director is equally enthusiastic about this strategic partnership. He emphasizes, “This collaboration allows BITMAIN to have a stronger presence in the region, utilizing our advanced technology.”