UAE based MIRAI Capital Global, has made a non-binding commitment of $7 million to invest in DigiMaaya, a digital assets exchange and bank.

As per MIRAI website, MIRAI Capital Globbal aims to revolutionize global investing, in collaboration with Royal Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi. The firm is based in Ras El Khaimah UAE.

It includes the following members, Dunston Pereira (Group CEO of the Private Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi), Pranav Jyoti (Chief Investment Officer for the Private Office of H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi and MD, MIRAI Capital Global) along with Vinoth Beemjee (Senior Partner and Regional Head, APAC, MIRAI Capital Global).

MIRAI Capital global has identified the massive opportunity that DigiMaaya digital assets exchange will offer. It directly addresses democratizing financial purchasing through fractional asset offerings via a comprehensive marketplace and other product mixes.

Mr. Pranav Jyoti mentioned that DigiMaaya’s innovative tech solutions use the latest technology stack, building the pillars to forward Industry 4.0 thesis via emerging tech like Blockchain, AI, Encryption and Cryptography, VR, etc.

APAC Lead and Senior Partner, MIRAI Capital, Vinoth Beemjee, additionally said, “Since DigiMaaya will allow users to benefit from its suite of services like Trading, Loans, Insurance, Tax calculator, Financial Health Card. This investment by MIRAI Capital Global is a strong bet on smart services being built by a seasoned Team.”

Utsav Dar, Founder & CEO, DigiMaaya shared his vision regarding the company and the benefit of this investment through MIRAI Capital Global, “At DigiMaaya’s core, we believe in taking care of all our stakeholders, i.e. our investors, users, employees and vendor partners. Our internal processes are aligned with our company culture and our team’s common passion fuels our drive to create a user centric, global, regulated and compliant Financial SuperApp.”

DigiMaaya digital assets exchange and bank, comprises a team of Industry leaders & Specialists with varied expertise who have aligned themselves to the vision of building DigiMaaya as a Fintech super app. This global team includes Heero Punjabi (Co-founder and CTO), Punnoose Joseph (Co-founder and Chief Technology Architect), Preet Gill (Co-founder, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications), and Dr. Chiraag Jain (Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer).

Utsav Dar emphasizes on DigiMaaya’s USPs: A 100% licensed and regulated App with robust and transparent audit mechanisms for trust building, 3-level Appellate solution across 9 languages for seamless customer support, Steady liquidity addressing a major problem in the current illiquid market, and a Transition to Web3 through informative educational series and incentivized user benefits.

UAE HAYVN investors, Deus X Capital, a $1 billion family office has agreed to buy out HAYVN digital assets infrastructure provider and appoints Richard Crook as new CEO. Deus X Capital will purchase the business brand, technology, clients and staff from other HAYVN shareholders.

The parties have agreed to the asset purchase, subject to completion.

As per the press release, the deal provides the opportunity to recapitalize and reinvigorate the business as it seeks to consolidate its presence in the Middle East, while allowing for growth globally.

In addition, Richard Crook has been appointed interim CEO of HAYVN with a focus on growing the business and realizing the global opportunities ahead of it. Ahmed Ismail, Board Member & Co-Founder of HAYVN had told LaraontheBlock that they would be appointing a new CEO in December 2023.

Crook joins HAYVN following more than 25 years in the digital assets and investment banking industries, including roles such as COO of BCB Group, the digital assets payments business, and Head of Emerging Technology at investment bank RBS after serving in senior management roles at UBS.

Tim Grant, CEO, Deus X Capital, speaking on the asset purchase stated, “HAYVN is an innovative business at the forefront of the movement to a democratized financial system. We are committed to providing institutional clients with the critical services they need to capitalize on the existing and growing opportunity in digital assets, while continuing to build and develop new capabilities. HAYVN is core to our strategy and represents another pillar of our commitment to the Middle East region.”

Richard Crook, interim CEO, HAYVN, said: “I am delighted to join a business that has already established itself as a leader in financial technology and a fundamental pillar of the digital assets ecosystem. The digital assets industry is growing at a rapid pace as it continues to converge with traditional financial services, and I look forward to ensuring that HAYVN is central to that growth as we build on our success.”

This comes after the ousting of their previous CEO under difficult circumstances.

UAE organically incubated, digital assets custodian, Tungsten, regulated under the FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority) in ADGM is on a hiring spree.

Tungsten, according to Further Ventures, UAE Venture Capital firm, and its incubator, is a 100% UAE sovereign digital asset custodian that offers secure and regulated custody service.  It is also backed by an Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth fund.

As per Tungsten, “ We are on a mission to create the most advanced digital assets custody and treasury services for our clients, helping them to become self-sovereign organizations with strong mechanisms for access control, multi-tier and multi-factor authentication, no single points of failure, and advanced transactional risk management.”

Tungsten goes on to note, “Our offering will be insured by global underwriters, regulated exclusively by ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets), and host its core services in a Tier IV data center with 24/7 physical security.”

Tungsten is custodian of virtual assets that protects client funds from geo-political, regulatory, and cloud risk by operating a fully private physical and application infrastructure out of the most secure facilities in the world.

The website states that Tungsten goes beyond custody, their integrations span exchanges, liquidity providers, analytics, tokenization, and more, providing a holistic solution.

The company is founded by Christian Desjardins, Co-Founder and CEO , as well as Jose J. Perez Aguinaga as the Co-Founder and CTO.

Tungsten is currently hiring an assistant Manager-Deputy MLRO.

In the advert for the position it states that Tungsten, backed by an Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund has expansion plans across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

The job advert notes, “We aim to redefine the landscape of secure, user-friendly virtual asset custody solutions. Our commitment is to unparalleled security, reliability, and ease of use, positioning Tungsten as the preferred choice for institutions managing their virtual assets.”

Tungsten is looking for Assistant Manager – Deputy MLRO, to support the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) in implementing and managing their anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) framework.

This comes as more and more Blockchain and digital asset entities launch from ADGM in UAE.

This article was updated on Feb 27th 2024. Update concerned founding members.

RAK DAO (Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis) the world’s first and only common law free zone exclusively dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies, has partnered with BlockLogica, a Web3 digital assets strategy hub to usher in Web3 Blockchain innovation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Blocklogica Labs into the RAK DAO ecosystem. This partnership signifies our commitment to fostering innovation and providing unparalleled support to visionary enterprises within the blockchain space. Together, we will drive forward our mission of shaping a new era of digital transformation and empowerment in the Web3 landscape,” said Dr. Sameer Al Ansari, CEO of RAK DAO.

Asal Alizade, Co-Founder of BlockLogica Labs added, “Looking at the great potential for the Web3 industry in the UAE, we are excited to stand next to RAK DAO and create a supportive and regulated environment for cutting-edge projects in the Web3 and Blockchain area to grow properly. It’s impressive to see how RAK DAO is so innovative in changing the Digital Assets regulatory space and creating a healthy ecosystem, where all ideas and projects have an opportunity to grow perfectly and be seen, and we are happy to take part in building this ecosystem.”

Together, RAK DAO and Blocklogica Labs aim to advance joint efforts in shaping a new, open, decentralized, and trustless digital era. By amplifying opportunities for businesses and startups in the ever-evolving blockchain space, this partnership sets the stage for groundbreaking developments in the Web3 landscape.

Just last week, Conflux Blockchain, a Layer 1 Blockchain,entered the UAE and partnered with UAE’s RAK Digital Assets Oasis (RAKDAO) to develop the Blockchain and digital asset sector.

IFTA (The International Trade and Forfaiting Association) and XDC Blockchain network will be holding a fintech workshop entitled “Use of Digital assets across Trade Origination and Distribution. The event will be held in Dubai UAE on February 22nd at Emirates Financial Towers.

As per the X feed, the workshop is tailored to IFT members, banks, credit insurers, fintech companies and law firms as well as policy makers, corporates, alternative lenders, family offices, asset managers, and logistics operators.

The topics covered will include MLETR policy developments, digital negotiable instruments, and real-time loan transactions and how tokenization and digital assets are revolutionizing the trade finance and lending practices.

Trade Finance has picked up interest not only from the UAE government but also the banking sector. In September 2023, UAE based Emirates NBD invested in Blockchain enabled Komgo, trade finance platform. As per the press release, the strategic equity investment was made by Emirates NBD’s Innovation Fund, the Bank’s corporate venture fund.  The fund created in early 2023, aims to strengthen synergies from strategic partnerships by combining the Bank’s digital ambitions and regional expertise with the agility and technological innovations of fintech companies.

In addition, Blockchain trade finance platform for banks in the UAE, UAE Trade Connect, an e&enterprise company has announced that it has surpassed $27 million in transactions identifying interbank duplicate financing and preventing fraud attempts.

In December 2023, UAE based InvoiceMate, a blockchain enabled invoice financing platform, tokenized a real world asset, an invoice, using the XDC blockchain in its recent pilot. The project used TradeFinex’S open source smart contract standards.

Earlier this year, Dubai’s virtual asset regulator (VARA) announced its plans for 2024 which will include enhancements to its regulatory infrastructure with introduction of real world use cases for tokenized fractionalized market participation using Blockchain as well as TradeFi, DeFi regulations while it has phased out its MVP licensing program

Finally and most importantly the UAE government is supporting tradeFi and the utilization of digital assets. At Davos in January, the UAE government signed an MOU with WEF (World Economic Forum) to support UAE’s new Blockchain and AI enabled Trade Tech initiative. The initiative is designed to accelerate the digitization of international supply chains, enhance customs procedures, and improve developing countries’ access to the global trading system and, as a result, spur a new era of trade growth.

So it seems that this workshop and definitely others to come, are opportune for learning more about the connections between Trade sector and digital assets.

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).

Canadian based Aquanow ME FZE local UAE entity, a digital assets liquidity infrastructure provider, has received a full virtual asset service provider license from Dubai Virtual asset regulatory Authority (VARA).

The license which is currently pending, will allow Aquanow to offer crypto broker dealer services as well as investment services. Aquanow will also be able to offer crypto lending and borrowing services.

Aquanow has been operating crypto infrastructure at scale since 2018.

In January 2023, Aquanow and Gate.io, a global cryptocurrency exchange with over $6B in daily volume, entered into a partnership to build global liquidity for the next wave of blockchain projects.

In June 2023 Aquanow, announced that it had received initial approval from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), while it undertakes the in-depth process of applying for a license in accordance with VARA requirements.

Aquanow is a global leader in digital assets infrastructure and is a facilitator for cryptocurrency trading in over 50 countries. Aquanow ranked amongst the fastest growing companies with a four-year revenue growth rate of 1,842%, according to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list.

“Dubai’s D33 vision of emerging as a top global financial center and major hub of innovation, testing, and commercialization of new technologies was a key factor in making the Emirate the centerpiece in our international growth efforts,” said Phil Sham, Aquanow Co-Founder and CEO. “We look forward to enabling a range of crypto use cases, and contributing to the region’s efforts that are leading the virtual assets industry in balancing consumer protections with world-changing technology.”

With this VARA has awarded OKx, CoinMENA and several other crypto exchanges and brokers in the UAE licenses to start their operations in a regulated manner.

Article updated with quote at 7:50 UAE time.

UAE based Commercial Bank International PJSC (‘CBI’), a corporate and retail bank headquartered in Dubai, and Fuze, MENA’s digital asset infrastructure provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow both parties to jointly explore digital assets use cases under the comprehensive regulatory frameworks of the UAE.

The agreement between CBI and Fuze provides the foundations for innovative new use cases that leverage the potential of blockchain and digital assets, including investments and payments. Leveraging CBI’s extensive and robust track record in business and personal finance, with Fuze’s cutting-edge digital assets infrastructure and expertise, the two parties will collaborate to develop a suite of digital asset and blockchain products.

Driving this agreement is an underlying demand from customers for safe and regulated digital assets platforms. The collaboration emphasises responsible innovation and as a regulated business, Fuze is committed to structuring compliant products that foster trust and confidence in the UAE’s digital asset ecosystem.

On the occasion of the MoU signing, Giovanni Everduin, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer of Commercial Bank International (CBI) stated, “Pooling the knowledge, expertise and resources of CBI and Fuze will help us explore a range of innovative new digital assets use cases for business and personal finance. This agreement will bring our customers closer to the many opportunities of digital assets, within a safe and regulated environment, in line with the UAE’s world-class virtual assets regulations. The signing of this MoU marks CBI’s commitment to furthering innovation and aligns perfectly with the UAE Government’s prioritisation of innovation as a pivotal force for driving positive change and economic development”.

Mohammed Ali Yusuf (Mo Ali Yusuf), CEO and Co-Founder of Fuze, added, “We’re thrilled to support CBI in connecting customers with future-facing financial products through the power of blockchain infrastructure. Collaborating with CBI marks a significant milestone for digital assets in the UAE. We look forward to supporting the Bank in providing greater financial accessibility and empowerment for their customers through powerful digital assets and cryptocurrency use cases”.

In December 2023, Fuze which had recently received a license from Dubai’s regulator, signed a similar MOU with UAE Fardan Exchange to allow the exchange to offer digital asset products such as buying, selling and transfer.

In a very interesting tweet on the X platform, RAK DAO ( Ras Al Khaimah’s Digital Asset Oasis) free zone welcomed the founder and creator of the Ethereum Blockchain, Vitalik Buterin.

In the tweet, RAK DAO states,” At RAK DAO, our fundamental belief in the transformative power of community has played a pivotal role in shaping our ecosystem. Our commitment to fostering innovation through collaboration recently materialized in a significant event, graced by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, alongside Vitalik Buterin, the Co-Founder of Ethereum, here in Ras Al Khaimah. This gathering reaffirmed our ongoing dedication to providing a platform where innovative ideas flourish, collaborations thrive, and the spirit of progress prevails. “

In February 2023, the Government of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) announced that it would be launching the RAK Digital Assets Oasis free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies for non-regulated entities.

This meant that the UAE would now have two crypto Blockchain Oases, one in DMCC for regulated blockchain and crypto entities and one in RAK for soft regulated entities. As per the announcement RAK DAO was supposed to launch in Q2 of 2023, but its official launch happened in October 2023.

Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO), marked the inception of a new era in digital evolution and Web3 collaboration within Ras Al Khaimah. Businesses dealing with digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, could operate under fewer regulatory restrictions.RAK Digital Assets Oasis, is the first common law and specialized free zone exclusively dedicated to companies involved in digital and virtual assets.

Since then, RAK DAO has been setting up partnerships as it entices blockchain, Web3, metaverse, and crypto companies to set up base in the Oasis. It partnered with The HBAR Foundation having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with them. According to the MOU, The HBAR Foundation would support RAK DAO ecosystem members to leverage the power of blockchain and build economies and applications on Hedera, the most used enterprise-grade public network.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trust Wallet, self-custody crypto wallet, majority owned by the former CEO of Binance announced its operations in the UAE both in RAKDAO (Digital assets Oasis) free zone in Ras Al Khaimah and in ADGM in Abu Dhabi.

Vitalik’s visit comes after he released Ethereum’s roadmap for 2024 which will focus on scalability, security and sustainability improvements.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced the plan on social media on Dec. 31, outlining several key initiatives for the platform’s development. ‘The Surge,’ a crucial component of Ethereum’s roadmap, aims to increase network scalability through data sharding. By dividing the blockchain into smaller parts, Ethereum intends to boost its transaction processing capabilities and reduce costs, addressing one of the most pressing issues faced by blockchain technologies today.

This development is expected to bring Ethereum closer to achieving its goal of processing over 100,000 transactions per second, as noted by Buterin in recent statements

Could this visit be another partnership in the making? Is the Ethereum founder finally interested in the UAE and Middle East?

UAE based Cypher Capital, crypto investment firm has co-led a $2.4 million investment round in German blockchain data analytics firm BitsCrunch. BitsCrunch specializes in multi-chain insights and forensics for NFT and digital assets using blockchain and AI technology.

Backed by Coinbase Ventures, Animoca Brands, Chainlink, Cypher Capital, Crypto.com Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Shima Capital, and others, bitsCrunch is an AI-powered, decentralized NFT data platform that enables developers to build reliable NFT applications (dApps). The company is pioneering crypto data forensics to allow retail, institutional, and venture investors to make better decisions about crypto assets.

Cypher Capital Chairman Bill Qian states: “We are excited to partner with Vijay and his team at blockchain enabled bitsCrunch. They are solving the transparency problem in the NFT space through AI and data analytics, which will further enhance the user experience and trust.”

bitsCrunch recently set a record on CoinList by achieving the fastest sale in history, raising an additional $3.85 million in just 24 minutes (translating to $160,000 each minute). The community-driven event drew participants from 163 countries, marking the most diverse sale in CoinList’s history. The 5x oversubscribed funding underscores the widespread interest and confidence in bitsCrunch’s vision.

bitsCrunch CEO, Vijay Pravin, states: “Cypher Capital has been a great value add for bitsCrunch, especially connecting us to a lot of their Venture Partners and introductions to their portfolio companies. They have been one of the very few active VCs in the last bear cycle. This investment round strengthens our ability to scale across multiple chains in the coming years.”

Cypher Capital cotinues to invest in crypto and blockchain projects. UAE-based social networking and content monetization platform Lyvely,  was one of the most recent.