In a news piece on Oman News agency, the Board of governors of the Central Bank of Oman, held their third meeting for 2023 where the followed up on developments as well as reviewed the international stance on cryptocurrencies as well as related studies conducted by the executive management team at the central bank on cryptocurrencies.

This comes as Oman works on its virtual asset regulations, having  at the end of July 2023 announced a public consultation paper on virtual assets regulatory framework by the Oman Capital Market Auhtority.The Capital Market Authority, Sultanate of Oman (CMA), which regulates and develops Oman’s financial markets for the capital market and insurance sectors, had earlier announced its plans to establish the new regulatory framework for Virtual Assets (VA) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP).The proposed new regulatory framework is envisaged to cover activities such as crypto assets, tokens, crypto exchanges, and initial coin offerings, among others. CMA had invited relevant stakeholders to provide their views and comments no later than mid August 2023.Oman has also been at the forefront of crypto mining in the region and in August 2023 announced the first phase of Asyad Group crypto mining center was launched in the Free zone in Salalah. Built and managed by Exahertz, a subsidiary of Afaq Advance Technologies firm, the first phase was inaguarated during a ceremony attended by top Omani governmental officials. Later on in the same month Oman-headquartered Green Data City and Abu Dhabi’s Phoenix Group have signed an agreement to develop a 150MW crypto-mining farm in Oman. The new farm will be set up in Green Data City and should be fully operational by Q2 2024, becoming one of the largest crypto-mining data centres in the region.Even in June 2023 the Oma Capital Markets Authority published a decision with regards Instructions for registering virtual asset service providers and applying AML/CFT requirements.So it would seem that while the Central Bank of Oman is reviewing cryptocurrencies both from a local and international perspective, the country is moving forward with its crypto and virtual assets plans.

UAE Crypto Oasis partners with Swiss Crypto Valley for WEB3FEST 2023 6 day festival between September 12th-17th in Zug and Zurich.

The Swiss WEB3FEST serves as a testament to their shared vision of ushering in the future of the internet. Crypto Valley, known for its pioneering role in blockchain and decentralized technologies in Switzerland and Lichtenstein, and the Crypto Oasis in MENA, a thriving hub for innovation, growth, and advancement, come together to present an event that encapsulates the essence of Web3.

Web3 encapsulates the upcoming phase of the internet, encompassing a spectrum of cutting-edge technologies including AI, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, Gaming, Sustainability, IoT, Metaverse, NFTs, and beyond.

Ralf Glabischnig, initiator of WEB3FEST, commented: “Our vision for this festival is to combine the exceptional potential of both Crypto Valley and Crypto Oasis. Switzerland is an outstanding location for founders looking to provide a regulatory home for their blockchain and Web3 startups. The Middle East offers a brilliant platform for these startups to scale internationally. With the launch of WEB3FEST, we aim to establish an annual Web3 event series worldwide.”

The festival sets off from September 12th to immerse participants and attendees in a dynamic journey through the diverse themes that define the Web3 realm.

NFT ART DAY: The festival’s curtain raiser on September 12th in Zug, will be a comprehensive survey exhibition of the Swiss NFT art scene and the inauguration of the Swiss NFT Timeline.

Web3 Gaming and Metaverse: The event’s second day invites attendees to dive into the realm of Web3 gaming and Metaverse projects. Engage with innovators and founders while gaining a deeper understanding of Internet Computer’s role in shaping the future of gaming. This will be followed by a tribute concert to Amy Winehouse combined with an AI-generated experience at the renowned Volkshaus Zurich.

Sustainability and Innovation: On the third day, the spotlight shifts to sustainability, and the role of AI and Web3 in building it. The European launch of The Green Block initiative, which underscores the festival’s commitment to sustainability and lines up to the launch of the first The Green Block report leading up to COP28 in the UAE.


Deep Dive Crypto Valley: Day four unravels the history of Crypto Valley in Zug with a deep dive into the ecosystem, with a focus on protocols and regulated digital assets businesses, where attendees can connect with the minds behind this vibrant blockchain hub. Engage in discussions with opinion leaders and investors over an exclusive brunch, lunch, or dinner that follows.

Ecosystem Unconference: Saturday, September 16th is all about connection and collaboration and open to the public to showcase tangible products and experiences. The Ecosystem Unconference, together with the Swiss NFT Association, welcomes forward thinkers from various domains. The Entire FIVE Hotel Zurich will be divided into experience areas focusing on AI, DeFi, Education, Longevity, Sustainability, NFTs, Real-world Assets, Gaming, and the Metaverse. This day will also witness the unveiling of the FIVE Zurich Metaverse by Pulse World.

Curtain Closer: The grand finale of the WEB3FEST will be a Networking Event on Sunday at the FIVE in Zurich. Attendees will have the opportunity to network over brunch and later by the pool, providing a relaxed setting to reflect on the festival, forge new connections, and plan for the year ahead. It’s the perfect ending to a week of innovation and collaboration.

The Swiss WEB3FEST is initiated by Inacta Ventures, Crypto Oasis Ventures, The Crypto Valley Association, and Trust Square, co-hosted by The Internet Computer, and is supported by the City and Canton of Zug in Switzerland.

Prior to this Crypto Oasis had announced that the orbs for WorldCoin ID verification were present at the crypto Oasis DIFC Innovation Hub office in Dubai.

As per Crypto Oasis post on LinkedIn,” We are currently supporting Worldcoin’s launch and spread across the UAE. Worldcoin is dramatically increasing access to World ID—the digital identity protocol powered by the Worldcoin ecosystem.”

Ornella Hernandez from Web3TV got scanned by a Worldcoin “orb” and signed up for a digital ID via the World App.

WorldCoin had announced in July 2023 that its orbs were available in the UAE.

Sources in the know of BitOasis’s current conditions, some of which have been affected by the latest changes, have confirmed to LaraontheBlock that on August 15th 2023, 30-50 employees were fired from BitOasis both from their offices in Jordan as well as UAE out of a total of over 120 employees. This happens as sources confirm that BitOasis is in the midst of ongoing negotiations to be acquired by India’s CoinDCX after the UAE based crypto broker failed to receive a Full Market product license from Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority VARA.

Launched on April 7th, 2018, CoinDCX is a cryptocurrency exchange with its offices located in India. CoinDCX is backed by investors such as Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, and HDR Group, operator of BitMEX and Pantera Capital among others. According to recent figures from CoinMarketCap CoinDCX has a Spot Trading Volume (24h) of $2,023,145.62 and holds total assets of $103,283,813.20.

In April 2022, CoinDCX raised $135.9 million from investors led by Pantera Capital and Steadview Capital, doubling its valuation to $2.15 billion becoming the most valued crypto trading platform in India.

In parallel BitOasis was valued in 2021 at $120 million receiving total funding of $30 million in a series B round in October 2021 from Global Founders Capital, Pantera Capital, Wamda Capital, Digital Currency Group, Alameda Research, Jump Capital and NXMH.

Sources also confirm that given the tough situation at BitOasis with no financial license, the company valuation has decreased significantly from 120 million and a distressed deal is being discussed to ensure business continuity and a path towards licensing.

BitOasis’s buyout comes after its MVP Operational license was halted by Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority (VARA) for not meeting mandated conditions required to be satisfied within 30-60 day timeframes prior to being permitted to undertake any VARA regulated market activity, subsequent to the issuance of its License for Institutional and Qualified Retail Investors, on 12.April.2023. This meant that BitOasis had failed to meet the financial and operational conditions license obligations.

At the time BitOasis had replied that they were committed to remediate all outstanding post licensing conditions of their Operational MVP license as committed to the regulator, as well as working towards Full Market Product (FMP) licensing.  The clarification stated, “We remain committed to securing a broker-dealer license, and operating a compliant, regulated platform in and from Dubai under VARA’s supervision. Transparency has always been a key value of our business – we will continue to update our community as we address these requirements prior to applying for an FMP license.”

Given the market conditions, the high interest rate environment and low valuation multiples for public players like Coinbase, it is expected that BitOasis investors will be offered shares as part of the distressed acquisition deal.

The upcoming weeks will be the teller of all, but what is sure is that the crypto exchange ecosystem is going through a rough time not only globally but in the MENA region. With increased and stricter regulatory requirements by regulators such as Dubai’s VARA, only the strongest will survive.

Given the focus in the past months on the topic of stablecoins, and with the launch of Paypal’s stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, centered around discussions on how stablecoins will fair in the future, it is very interesting to see Edelcoin’ s launch of a stablecoin, not backed by the dollar or eyuan but backed by real world assets!

Paypal in its press release for example stated, fully-backed, regulated stablecoins have the potential to transform payments in web3 and digitally native environments. Today the stablecoin market is a $120 billion according to data from TradingView yet it is expected to grow to $2.8 trillion in the next according to broker Bernstein research report released this month.

Yet stablecoins face challenges include regulatory uncertainty, technical vulnerabilities, market fluctuations, and liquidity issues. Here is how Edelcoin comes in. It is a stable payment token potentially inversely correlated to inflationary fiat currencies. According to its creators as a payment token decoupled from monetary policies and fiat currencies, Edelcoin serves as an effective hedge against inflation. Edelcoin is backed by real-world assets.

The Edelcoin payment token, issued out of Switzerland is backed by a basket of pre-existing precious and base metals. The Edelcoin basket is structured to be less volatile than single asset-backed tokens, providing a stable or low volatile store of value, detached from inflationary fiat currencies, independent from monetary policies. The Edelcoin token is issued as ERC-20 Token on Ethereum blockchain followed by additional EVM compatible chains and traded on centralized and crypto exchanges (secondary market).

Each Edelcoin has an excess reserve of backing metals, in total corresponding to 125% of the actual metals embodied by each Edelcoin. To learn more and understand this new concept of stablecoins, LaraontheBlock interviewed Edelcoin’s Founder Andreas Wiebe to learn more about the benefits of Edelcoin how stablecoins backed by dollar will falter, and their interest in expanding into the MENA region.


1. What is Edelcoin and why should a stablecoin backed by real assets be created? What are these global assets?

From my perspective, the only stablecoins that are truly stable are those backed by tangible resources like precious metals. Other underlying assets (such as other currencies, real estate, etc.) do not offer long-term security. Currently, Edelcoin is the only one globally backed by tangible resources like precious metals. Throughout history, precious metals have always been considered a form of security.

2. How does PayPal’s release of a USD-backed stablecoin contribute to the growth of the stablecoin market, and how does this fit into your plans for Edelcoin?

Anything backed by the dollar will already suffer significant losses in the upcoming year. We are already witnessing the global decline of the dollar. Now, the BRICS countries are introducing their own currencies, dealing a death blow to the dollar. The dollar has already lost its value. A 95% absolute decline! Worldwide, major countries are trying to sell off the dollar and exchange it for precious metals or other currencies.

3. What is Edelcoin linked to in terms of precious metals? Who owns it? Who stores it for you?

Edelcoin is tied to a basket of precious and industrial metals, providing absolute security. The precious metals are stored in vaults in Europe and Switzerland. These assets belong to our partners, who have collectively deposited them with us as the issuer.

4. How can Edelcoin users benefit?

First and foremost, I would recommend everyone to invest 10-20% of their fiat holdings into Edelcoin, thereby diversifying their overall portfolio. Additionally, the market anticipates a rise in precious metal prices, which will lead to a stable value appreciation of Edelcoin.

5. How is Edelcoin regulated?

Edelcoin is a Swiss company and has been accepted and reviewed as a payment stablecoin by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Swiss regulation is widely recognized as extremely secure and trustworthy worldwide.

6. Do you have plans to expand into the MENA and GCC regions, and how?

Absolutely! There is already a blueprint in multiple directions: We are working to integrate Edelcoin into the financial landscape of the MENA and GCC regions, including trading platforms, as well as invest in the economies of the entire MENA and GCC regions.

7. Where and when will Edelcoins be traded?

At launch, we already have six exchanges:, Probit, BitForex, Blocktrade, LBank, and MEXC. Edelcoin is tradable on XT from August 14.

8. How can Edelcoin be used as a form of payment, given that precious metal prices are not stable?

Precious metals, backing up each EDLC are industrial metals and looking into historical perspective, these metals show an upward trend. More information on backing metals are here:

Edelcoin is accepted as a digital currency and can be spent in businesses that accept cryptocurrencies, much like Bitcoin. Additionally, we are working on installing ATM machines in several countries, enabling easy deposit and withdrawal of fiat currencies for enhanced flexibility.

9. Can users exchange their coins for the actual precious metals they are linked to?

Of couse! On the Edelcoin website, there is a “Boutique” section  where anyone can exchange their Edelcoins for silver and gold coins – to my knowledge, no one else offers this!

10. How do you envision the future of stablecoins and crypto payments, and how can businesses, governments, and organizations benefit from them?

In my view, there will be a future return to currencies backed by precious metals. A stable currency spells success and security for any business engaged in buying and selling. Such certainty can only be provided by a currency that is 100% backed. Pension funds and trading companies dealing with resources like oil, gas, and other commodities will find a solution and use the stability of Edelcoin.

11. Any other news or updates that Edelcoin would like to share?

In the next three months, we will be installing the first ATMs in Europe and Asia. Contracts with currency exchanges have already been finalized. We are open to further partnership inquiries. Please reach us  at

The UAE AI camp a five day camp organized by both the  National Programme for Artificial Intelligence, in collaboration with the National Programme for Coders which targets school and university students, includes six cutting edge including web development and robotics, digital entrepreneurship and career planning, generative artificial intelligence, online safety and cybersecurity, blockchain and cryptocurrency, and virtual and augmented reality through interactive workshops, webinars, and deep dialogues in the field of artificial intelligence.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications and Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, stated that the UAE government, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, is keen to on fostering a generation empowered with cutting-edge technology and artificial intelligence, enabling them to actively contribute to creating a sustainable digital economy while bolstering the nation’s leadership and readiness for the future.

According to Al Olama, this collaborative effort aims to equip the UAE AI camp participants with digital tools and technologies, enabling them to enhance the framework of future prospects and leverage artificial intelligence solutions in innovative ways.

This year, the camp offers specialised programmes and interactive workshops with the participation of a group of government entities, private sector and international companies such as Cyber Security Council, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), DP World, Dubai Chambers, Road and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Cyber Innovation Park, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), coding ambassadors, one of the Coders HQ initiatives, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, Technology Innovation Institute, Ajman X, Fujairah Police GHQ, Microsoft, AWS, Huawei, Careem, Dell Technologies, Stripe, Accenture, Le Wagon, Jeel code, VR Academi, Bnb, Mathworks, University of Birmingham Dubai, Cybernet , 42, Women in AI, Intel, QUAE, Marses robotic systems and others with the aim of providing participants in the camp with future skills.

The UAE AI Camp will continue until the beginning of August 2023. It aims to explore the field of artificial intelligence and digital technologies, shaping the future of technology and digital life through awareness workshops. These workshops will focus on developing participants’ skills in programming, designing artificial intelligence applications and smart applications. Additionally, in-depth workshops will cover various areas such as generative artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning.

The camp also includes meetings for those interested in computing aimed at sharing the experiences of leading companies in the field of artificial intelligence. Workshops will be conducted to discuss the power of artificial intelligence, image and language generation and understanding, as well as how to utilise artificial intelligence tools in our daily lives. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn how to create 3D designs using reality technology.

Additionally, workshops will discuss the challenges in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

Those interested can register for various workshops through

UAE based HAYVN, a regulated digital asset management financial institution, has recorded returns of 19 percent increase on its crypto index fund since its launch in January 2023.

The index fund for cryptocurrency assets offers clients a diversified, low cost, and regulated strategy to invest in.

According to HAYVN CEO, Christopher Flinos, “The funds early success and HAYVN predictions for a positive long-term trend due to our carefully weighted Top 20 portfolio, has seen the HAYVN 20 become one of the leading fund benchmarks in cryptocurrency markets”.

The HAYVN 20 fund has three distinguishing features, first it is limits the maximum exposure to any one digital asset at 10% creating a more balanced portfolio. Secondly the fund rebalances monthly, allowing HAYVN 20  to capture new trends in the market by increasing its investment in the emerging winners as their market capitalization grows, while reducing exposure to cryptocurrencies which are declining in value.

Finally the fund has daily liquidity which gives investors the freedom to change their allocation anytime.

Flinos added, “Investing in the HAYVN Index Fund offers investors an opportunity to gain exposure to broader cryptocurrency markets without having to worry about managing individual coins and allocations themselves. With its initial track record and performance so far, it provides a solid option for those who want sustainable long-term exposure rather than concentration risk individual coins”.

The U.S. the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 22 individuals and 104 entities operating in 20 countries for their role in facilitating Russian sanctions evasion, including John Desmond Hanafin, Founder of Dubai based Huriya Private, a fintech firm, who has an active Ethereum address included as an identifier on his SDN List entry.

Hanafin is the founder and CEO of Huriya Private FZE LLE, a Dubai-based financial services company also sanctioned today for its role in funneling Russian funds into the UAE. 

According to OFAC’s press release, Hanafin in his role at Huriya has been working since the outset of the Russia-Ukraine War to help Russian nationals protect their assets from sanctions. Much of this activity has involved helping Russian nationals move their money into UAE bank accounts and obtain fraudulent passports. 

As per Chainalysis blog, John Hanafin’s on-chain transactions may shed light on Huriya’s Russian sanctions evasion operations.

OFAC included a single Ethereum address as an identifier on Hanafin’s SDN list entry. That address is 0x38735f03b30FbC022DdD06ABED01F0Ca823C6a94. Since becoming active in January 2022, that address has received roughly $4.9 million worth of cryptocurrency, mostly in Tether (USDT).

According to Chainalysis article, across the 75 USDT transactions received by Hanafin, there were several in amounts with following ranges  $5,000 – $10,000, $15,000 – $25,0000, $100,000 – $150,000.

Chainalysis included some examples of transaction within those ranges on Chainalysis Reactor graph.

While Chainalysis states that they cannot be sure that any of the payments to Hanafin’s wallet reflect citizenship by investment purchasing, they do point out, “ it certainly appears possible given this is a service Huriya offers, and Hanafin’s work acquiring false passports for Russian nationals as described by OFAC.”

Chainalysis adds, “ As for the high-frequency payments to Hanafin’s wallet that came in smaller amounts, it’s possible that those were related to lower-cost services Huriya offers, such as establishment of UAE bank accounts or corporate structuring.”

Chainalysis explains that while crypto may still play a role in Russian sanctions evasion, the transparency of blockchain means that blockchain analysis combined with open source data can open up valuable avenues for investigation. 

Subject to regulatory approval, UAE based Standard Chartered has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to collaborate on digital assets, including digital asset custody through its Zodia Custody entity.

Standard Chartered plans to launch digital asset custody services, starting in DIFC and to cater to institutional clients worldwide. Standard Chartered is an early mover in developing services to provide custody of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

Drawing on its international expertise in traditional custody, its new services will be powered by its subsidiary Zodia Custody, which has best-in-class operational and technical capabilities suited to needs of institutional clients.

The MOU was signed during the latest  Dubai FinTech Summit by Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, and Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered.

Winters said, “We see digital assets as an important part of the future of financial services, and we are committed to investing in the infrastructure and talent necessary to be a leader in this space. The UAE’s well-balanced approach to digital asset adoption and financial regulation makes it an ideal first market for us to launch our digital asset custody proposition.”

The Bank and DIFC will also collaborate on opportunities to promote a vibrant and thriving digital assets ecosystem that benefits Dubai and the wider UAE economy. The MoU will foster close cooperation for the Bank’s wider digital assets agenda in collaboration with the DIFC Innovation Hub, the region’s leading ecosystem for start-ups and scale ups.

Kazim, added, “The Dubai FinTech sector has emerged as a key driver of innovation and economic growth much in line with the Government’s Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to become a top 4 global financial hub. DIFC welcome collaboration with partners such as Standard Chartered to further accelerate growth and enable collaboration that triggers innovation as we continue to shape the future of finance together.”

Unilaterally, Fasset, a digital asset exchange platform with a vision to offer affordable and frictionless gateway for people in emerging markets to own and grow their wealth in digital assets has announced  that it has been granted an Initial Approval for a Full Market Product (FMP) license by the Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in UAE.

As per the announcement, “Though the initial approval does not yet allow any virtual asset activity in or from Dubai, this initial stage indicates progress in obtaining full permission to operate in Dubai. This crucial step forward allows Fasset to lead the digital assets market, as one of the first exchanges to provide regulatory protection to consumers in Dubai, as the MENA region has been identified as the world’s fastest growing cryptocurrency market.”

Raafi Hossain, CEO and Co-Founder of Fasset stated, “This is an incredibly exciting time to be leading the way in democratizing access to digital assets. As the world turns to Dubai as the financial epicenter for growth, the opportunity to work with VARA embeds improved access to digital assets with the provision of heavily anticipated regulatory guardrails. We are grateful for the leadership and guidance of VARA team in helping us achieve the milestone of being one of the first exchanges to receive Initial Approval under the FMP license, and look forward to working with the VARA team to achieve full permission to offer our services to the world from Dubai.”

Fasset has sought regulatory permissions across the biggest markets in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, where digital asset-based rails are vital.

Currently Fasset is participating as a sponsor and speaker at the Dubai Fintech Summit. Mohammad Raafi Hossain, participated in a panel discussion on Crypto and the evolving regulatory framework emphasizing the societal value of crypto.

Raafi emphasized that regulation should serve as a positive reinforcement tool for the main benefits of wealth creation and property rights ownership, rather than a reactive response to the negative aspects of the crypto industry. Secondly, he highlighted the need for an international philosophy and ethos around crypto regulation that takes into account the desires and needs of the market with regards to asset ownership and enablement.

Fasset has also signed two MOUs, one with Minted which will provide increased access to tokenized precious metals across developing markets including Turkey, Indonesia and UAE and another one with Oman Mamun which will focus on building innovative new solutions for Oman based on real world assets. The collaboration with Mamun will increase access to investment opportunities and enhance liquidity for physical assets, all within a secure and compliant framework.

The Arab country of Morocco has made it to the top 10 global list of countries who have a craze for Meme coins according to CoinGecko recent report.

For those who haven’t heard of Meme coins they are a crypto genre that has a huge online community which supports the crypto currencies growth.

They are sometimes identified with animated character or animal meme images. During the recent cryptocurrency boom, top currencies to gain meme coin status included Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

According to CoinGeck, the meme coin craze in 2023 has been led by the United States (US), India and the United Kingdom (UK), where more than half of the meme coin fans this year are based. Meme coins are also popular in Southeast Asia’s Philippines and Malaysia, Nigeria and Morocco on the African continent, Oceania’s Australia and New Zealand, and Canada.

The top 10 countries leading the meme coin craze in 2023 make up 82.9% or the majority of interest in the speculative assets.

The US is unsurprisingly leading the meme coin craze, accounting for 23.6% of the interest in 2023 so far with over 2 million views of the top meme coin pages.  The most popular meme coin in the US this year is Shiba Inu, which generated 60.7% of US interest in meme coins. Recent trending crypto Pepe drove another 11.8% of meme coin interest in the US, followed by Bonk and Volt Inu.

People are by far most interested in Shiba Inu, which drove 46.7% of interest among the top meme coins in 2023. Baby Doge Coin generated 12.3% of meme coin interest, followed by more recent meme coins Pepe (9.4%), Floki (8.6%) and Bonk (8.2%).

In Morocco the most sought after meme coin is Dogecoin which generated 61.1% of Morocco’s interest in meme coins, but received only minor interest among the rest of the countries. DogeCoin currently has a market cap of over $10 billion.