The homegrown Qatar Blockchain startup, Genesis Technologies has partnered with South Korean Blockchain company CP Labs.

Genesis Technologies and CPLabs are set to play a role in realizing Qatar’s Vision 2030 for a digital economy. The collaboration aims to deliver unparalleled security and resilience against cyber threats, underscoring the importance of robust blockchain solutions in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Doha, Richard Yun, the head of the business division at CPLabs, highlighted the company’s extensive experience and leadership in the blockchain domain. Yun stated, “As Korea’s first blockchain technology company, CPLabs has been at the forefront of commercializing blockchain based on the experience and expertise accumulated since the early days of blockchain technology in 2013. Furthermore, we aim to drive future changes in digital assets, which are essential elements of digital transformation, through blockchain technology. With 327 blockchain-related patents held worldwide, we have established ourselves as a complete IT solutions provider and are growing into a successful provider of solutions for government and institutional blockchain adoption.”

Yun further emphasized CPLabs’ commitment to navigating the challenges of the GCC market stating, “The GCC market presents another challenge for CPLabs. Being the only local blockchain company in Qatar, our partnership agreement with Genesis Technology, a startup at QU, holds great promise for both parties to enter the local government agencies and markets jointly. We got attracted to collaborate with Genesis Technologies because they share an innovative mindset as we do. Furthermore, we are committed to providing unlimited support and playing a leading role in contributing to the development of blockchain technology in Qatar.”

Mazen Al-Masri, the CEO of Genesis Technologies, echoed similar sentiments, expressing excitement about joining forces with CPLabs. “We are thrilled to collaborate with a well-established and innovative company like CPLabs that is a pioneer in the world of blockchain. Both companies share a similar vision to enable the digital transformation of business, government, and society, leading to a more secure, intelligent, and high-performing world. We will join efforts to produce best-of-breed solutions that respect local regulations and serve the local context effectively.”

This comes soon after Genesis Technologies unveiled two innovative software as a service offerings during their participation at the Web Summit in Qatar in February 2024.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Anthony Butler, senior advisor to Saudi Central Bank ( SAMA) an expert in Blockchain and digital assets, called for DLT ( Distributed Ledger Experts) or Blockchain experts, as well as AI ( Artificial Intelligence), Machine Learning and software engineers to apply for positions in some world class projects in KSA.

According to Butler there are exciting opportunities in KSA. He states, “There are some world class projects that have an impact in KSA.”

In June 2023, Butler had made a similar call for talents for blockchain, AI and digital assets experts for jobs in KSA. At the time he mentioned roles for software engineers with experience working with DLT protocols and applications. According to Butler the role required experience implementing solutions using tech such as Ethereum, Hyperledger Besu, Hyperledger Fabric, and/or R3 Corda.”

KSA has been launching and investing in digital economy projects across the country.

They had launched a nationwide CBDC project in 2022 which is still underway.

In addition last week, KSA based Marhaba Blockchain Information Systems (MRHB) a blockchain web3 Infrastructure,  partnered with Saudi Arabia’s Digital Economy Centre (DEC)  an institution driving the digital transformation of Saudi Arabia’s economy in alignment with Vision 2030. The collaboration focuses on Blockchain, DLT and Artificial Intelligence (AI), initiatives.

Even Saudi Arabia’s Muqassa, a subsidiary of Saudi’s Tadawul Group, specialized in settlement of trades, signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Swiss Blockchain enabled Instimatch, a cash management platform for institutions across industries and geographies to interconnect. The MOU will work to launch a repo trading platform to enhance the financial structure of the Saudi Capital Market.

Blockchain enabled entities such as Crysp Farms, a UAE based innovator and operator of decentralized blockchain enabled vertical farms, secured a $2.25 million ‘Pre-Series A’ round structured and led by Gate Capital with participation from regional investors, including those from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Additionally AI and Blockchain enabled Tribal Credit, founded by Egyptian entrepreneurs, will be expanding into Saudi Arabia, and using a renewed and increased debt facility of $150 million with Partners for Growth.

Swiss based The Hashgraph Association (THA), for Blockchain DLT digital enablement signed a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) to launch a “DeepTech Venture Studio” in Riyadh worth $250M USD over five years (2024-2028).

Blockchain has even infiltrated the LEAP 2024 Tech Exhibition and Conference, taking place between March 4th-7th 2024, in Riyadh KSA. Already many blockchain and DLT entities have announced their participation at the event, including names such as Antematter, who specialize in crafting cost-effective, innovative solutions in AI, Blockchain, and Cloud Development, iBLOCKCHAIN, who are fostering blockchain adoption across governments, enterprises, and the public sphere,  and companies such as BitWits, will be showcasing their web game, blockchain, and AI development.

So it would seem that KSA is definitely becoming a blockchain, DLT, and digital economy hub.

In a meeting of the UAE Council for Digital Economy attended by Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work divulged that nine UAE banks, six UAE exchange houses and three UAE insurance companies have in the past few months started using Blockchain based solutions.

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, affirmed that the UAE government adopts a proactive approach based on designing visions and goals, as well as developing and implementing initiatives and projects that lay the foundations of a pioneering digital economy. This economy combines national skills and technological solutions, forming an advanced model that contributes to achieving the targets of the national strategy for the digital economy, by multiplying the contribution of the digital economy to non-oil GDP over the next decade.

He stated that the UAE government is intensifying efforts to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions, aiming through its initiatives and projects to envision and shape the digital future, enhancing the UAE’s leadership and global competitiveness in various fields.

The council reviewed the updates regarding several strategic initiatives aimed at supporting and accelerating the implementation of the UAE’s strategic objectives for the digital economy, in areas such as infrastructure, digital transactions, e-commerce, financial technologies, stimulating investment in digital sectors, attracting and developing digital skills, supporting SMEs and the latest developments in digital economy statistics gathering and the annual report on measuring the digital economy, prepared in cooperation with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre.

The council reviewed as well the developments in digital infrastructure development in the country, and the level of adoption of technological solutions, which have significantly increased in recent months. The adoption of the use of digital signatures increased by 216 percent in 2023, while blockchain was used as well, involving 9 banks, 6 exchange houses, and 3 insurance companies.

In addition, the adoption rate of the sixth version of the Internet Protocol reached 50.7 percent in January 2024, and the level of mobile network coverage continued to achieve 100 percent coverage, ranking the first position in the Middle East in Internet exchange traffic and the first position globally in fifth-generation network speeds in 2023.

Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, who also serves as a Board of Trustees member and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, Vice Chair of the World Government Summit, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, and Chairman of the Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Council has been appointed as the Director General of the Dubai Crown Prince’s office.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has appointed Omar Sultan Al Olama as the Director General of the Dubai Crown Prince’s Office.

Olama has been committed to strong governance, effective regulation, and the provision of essential data and infrastructure positions the UAE as a prime test-bed for AI innovations. He has overseen initiatives such as the personal data protection law, the National Program for Coders, and the UAE Council for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. As per the announcement, he aims to accelerate the growth and transformation of the digital economy, ultimately doubling its contribution to the UAE’s non-oil GDP within the next decade.

The UAE Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts has signed an agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO) the world’s first and only common law free zone dedicated to global digital and virtual assets companies, to drive greater awareness of DIFC Courts digital economy services to businesses operating within Ras Al Khaimah’s newly launched digital economy freezone.

The memorandum will foster closer cooperation on projects and initiatives designed to boost the UAE’s vision for a thriving digital economy and support economic ambitions. The agreement will also promote closer alignment and collaboration across specific digital economy services provided by both organizations.

The DIFC Courts is currently operating on a new roadmap for the years 2022-2024, which includes a strategic work plan that brings more national cohesion to the Courts’ projects and initiatives in line with the ‘D33’ economic agenda and the Dubai Digital Strategy. This in turn is providing effective support for both the federal and local Dubai strategic goals.

His Excellency Justice Omar Al Mheiri, Director, DIFC Courts, said, “Expectations from the private sector increasingly require the bold engagement of public service. By combining a modern and flexible digital infrastructure with judicial and service excellence, the DIFC Courts will continue to align our operations with the national agenda. As the UAE begins to nurture new digital economy verticals, the number of foreign organisations entering the market will inevitably increase. The DIFC Courts and RAK Digital Assets Oasis will collaborate through this agreement to assure these businesses that we remain on standby to accommodate the growing digital economy and resolve new types of cases and disputes.”

Dr Sameer Al Ansari, Chief Executive Officer, RAK Digital Assets Oasis, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the DIFC Courts. This collaboration marks a significant step in fostering a more dynamic digital ecosystem within our newly established free zone in Ras Al Khaimah. We believe that this partnership will greatly enhance the accessibility and awareness of the DIFC Courts’ digital economy services, providing valuable support to the companies of the future in our thriving digital oasis.”

RAK DAO is the world’s first and only common law free zone dedicated to global digital and virtual assets companies, empowering innovators in their journey to build the future of Web3 and blockchain technology across industries, promising to disrupt traditional business models and unlock the full potential of digital assets.

In 2021, the DIFC Courts confirmed the launch of a new Division. The international Digital Economy Court (DEC) simplifies the settlement process of complex civil and commercial disputes related to the digital economy, reviewing national and international claims related to current and emerging technologies, including big data, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, and cloud services.

The Digital Economy Court is a global initiative that operates in parallel, helping to build a new judicial support network to serve the stringent demands of digital transformation and adoption. Leading international judicial expertise has been recruited to oversee and operate the new Court’s cutting-edge digital infrastructure and service capabilities, complementing an existing portfolio of specialised Divisions, including the Technology & Construction Division and the Arbitration Division, launched by the DIFC Courts to serve an expanding demand for judicial expertise across sector-specific cases.

The launch of the new Division also signals to the international business community the intent of Dubai and the UAE to play a leading role in advancing its judicial systems to specifically direct capacity and capability to resolving digital economy-related disputes, whilst also utilizing some of the very same cutting-edge technologies to enable greater efficiency of service to the public.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), announced graduation of its first metaverse cohort of 10 regional and global start-ups as part of its ‘DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme, which included blockchain Web3 Social ecosystem platform startup Daoversal. 

The news follows the launch of DIFC’s Metaverse Platform earlier this year, in line with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy, which aims to add USD 4bn to Dubai’s GDP, support 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030, and attract 1,000 companies specialised in blockchain and metaverse technologies. At the time DIFC had noted it would choose 50 startups, yet it seems that only 10 have graduated. The inaugural ‘DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme’ was the first initiative announced under the ‘DIFC Metaverse Platform’ umbrella, and attracted over 160 applicants from the UAE, UK, US, India and France, with a focus on primarily Metaverse, AI, Web3, AR/VR and Blockchain sectors.The ‘DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme’, backed by programme partners Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), DP World, and Daoverse Capital, onboarded 10 promising start-ups on 5 June 2023 with 3 months of intense bootcamp workshops to follow.Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of the DIFC Innovation Hub, said, “Earlier this year, Dubai’s Higher Committee for Future Technology and Digital Economy endorsed the DIFC Metaverse Platform, positioning DIFC as the first government entity globally to champion an integrated Metaverse hub. To see the DIFC Metaverse Accelerator Programme come to fruition as part of that initiative with over 160 international applicants, a network of over 60 ecosystem partners, and 10 talented start-ups graduating already is encouraging and will no doubt inspire others to join us as we together embark on our next phase of growth.”Among the startups selected were Artichoke Labs, a spatial computing company specialising in creating city-scale augmented reality applications; Cognitive Technologies, experts in establishing Internet-of-Things (IoT) networks to enable both hardware and software automation; Daoversal, an expansive blockchain-based Web3 social ecosystem platform; and DoDocs, which is building a service to generate legal documents in any language for any country or jurisdiction for both individuals and businesses.In addition there was Duverse, a start-up involved in developing and implementing advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions; Evometa, a boutique digital studio providing Metaverse-as-a-service solutions for enterprises in real estate, hospitality, industrial and automotive markets; and Flan, engaged in creating micro communities for clients and creative workers to meet, Intelligent Assist and ShopDoc, two digital healthcare delivery platforms, and GoPal, a revolutionary Metaverse-based EdTech Platform.

The Jordanian government has commissioned the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia to draft a national blockchain policy for Jordan.

As a result the UNESCWA is hiring a consultant from Jordan to work remotely on drafting a national Blockchain policy for Jordan. The application for the job will be closed on June 14th 2023.

As per UNESCWA, The project should be finalized within 4 months; UNESCWA explains that Arab countries need to develop their Blockchain national plans to meet the requirements that were brought forth by the digital age.

In addition UNESCWA stated, “The Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) in Jordan requested UN-ESCWA’s assistance to develop the national policy for blockchain. The provision of this advisory service is the subject of these terms of reference.”

The report will include reviewing best regional and international practices on Blockchain policies, strategies and frameworks (at least 4 international and 4 regional practices); analyzing the different existing policies and frameworks related to digital technologies in Jordan; holding interviews with the various stakeholders and summarize their remarks and observations; suggestion of the needed national policy in Jordan based on the gap analysis and national needs.

During the UAE Digital Economy Council’s first meeting chaired by Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, seven sub-committees were created including one for Blockchain, another for Fintech and one for investing in digital economy. 

The first meeting which discussed consolidating the UAE’s status as a global hub for the digital economy and a platform for digital innovation to boost the national economy, emphasized the importance of empowering national talents to excel technological areas and augmenting the digital economy’s contribution to non-oil GDP. 

During the meeting, the council approved the formation of seven sub-committees led by members of the council, to cover all goals of the UAE digital economy strategy in areas such as technological infrastructure and blockchain, e-commerce, financial technologies, investment in the digital economy sector, attracting skills and supporting start-ups.

Additionally, a committee was formed to specialize in digital economy statistics and prepare an annual report to measure the performance and indicators of the digital economy in the UAE and ensure sustainable progress in the digital economy.

The council also discussed strategic performance indicators for the digital economy and ways to enhance the UAE’s global position in developing the future digital economy model.

UAE based MetaEssence launches the world’s first specialized G2B2C (Government to Business to Consumer) utility-based Web3.0 and Metaverse solutions provider.  

MetaEssence focuses on Web3.0 & Metaverse enablement through three main business domains: digital health, digital economy, and sustainability. Introducing innovative solutions to accelerate the government agencies and organizations’ digital transformation, and contributing to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to cement the UAE’s position as a global capital for the digital economy. 

Fatma ElSafty, Founder and CEO of MetaEssence, states,” Our vision is to enable simplified, secure, and reliable access to a wide range of Web3.0 & Metaverse solutions where our customers find synergies between their services and securely execute transactions with a business value add. At MetaEssence We emphasize our products value and end results. All our products are blockchain agnostic and we are very keen on building long-term partnerships through a well-established transaction-based model.” 

MetaEssence’s solutions for Digital health and specifically medical tourism will introduce a better patient experience using smart contracts, where patients will have secure access to quality healthcare providers anywhere in the world. Via Metaverse and mixed reality; patients can simulate their experience while the advantageous environment for smart contracts between patients, providers, and payers in the overall system will eliminate many touch points through a more simplified, secure, and patient-centric solution. Thanks to blockchain, Web3.0, and Metaverse technologies to make this possible.

 MetaEssence is planning to launch this year “MetaEssence Heroes Program” to leverage MetaEssence Superheroes group of Worldwide experts in Web3, NFTs, Crypto Risks, regulation, Data Security, blockchain, Mixed reality, and Metaverse to train the new heroes on the “why” and “how” to use these technologies in their organizations.

UAE is building its digital economy organically by educating its government employees as well as acquiring it internationally by attracting international tech players and their talents. Not only has the country come out with a new initiative to attract 300 global tech firms, but it is also working with Chainalysis to train its government employees on all things blockchain and crypto (virtual assets).  

In recent news announced, Minister of State for foreign trade, Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, launched the “NextGenFDI” that aims to attract 300 global tech firms as well as software developers, data scientists, and coders.

The start of the initiative is through partnerships already inked out with seven major firms and business districts that include Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC),  Dubai South, DMCC,  Dubai Internet City, Emirates NBD and digital bank WIO.

Al Zeyoudi said international businesses “are approaching us and asking how they can relocate their talent, ideas, and high-growth ventures to the UAE.  The global interest in 2022 is unprecedented and while we are already working with some, we know many more want to follow suit. We want to ensure that the world’s most promising digital companies can access all the benefits that our attractive, business-friendly environment offers – but we also want to make it easy for them.”

The minister said they are introducing measures to make market entry for companies and workers simpler. These include fast incorporation processes to speed up licensing, bulk visa issuances, banking facilitation and commercial and residential lease incentives.

This is in line with UAE’s establishing 1,000 new digital companies and increase investments in startups from $400 million to $1.3 billion.

But that is not all, on the governmental front, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and teleworking applications, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama signed an MOU with Bas Lemmens, General Manager for EMEA at Chainalysis to provide virtual training programs for government employees in the areas of Blockchain and virtual assets.

For those who don’t know Chainalysis, it provides data, software, services, and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions, insurance and cybersecurity companies in over 70 countries. Their data platform powers investigation, compliance, and risk management tools that have been used to solve some of the world’s most high-profile cyber-criminal cases and grow consumer access to cryptocurrency safely.

This would allow employees to develop their skills. Al Olama stated that strengthening partnerships with pioneering companies and empowering government entities with the latest tools and advance technologies play a pivotal role in enhancing the readiness of the UAE government, through exchanging experiences and global success stories. Blockchain technology is key to creating innovative solutions for future challenges, which contributes to developing government work and new technologies that enhance the UAE’s leading position globally, he added.

The MoU also aims to enhance the utilization of Blockchain technologies in building a smart future for the UAE.

Michael Gronager, CEO and Co-Founder of Chainalysis, said, “We are honored to be selected by the UAE to play a supporting role in up skilling government entities through knowledge in Blockchain that have the potential to serve as one of the essential digital tools in promoting a robust digital economy.”

Bas Lemmens, added “We are very proud to partner with the UAE government in supporting its initiatives in adopting blockchain, analysis tools and training through the ‘UAE Chainalysis Centre of Excellence’ to implement new technologies that will help drive new business opportunities. We want to build trust in blockchains and drive the adoption of digital assets.”

As of today there are more than 1000 blockchain and crypto companies who have set up in UAE. With these initiatives this number is