The Hashgraph Association, the non-profit organization accelerating the broad adoption of the Hedera network globally, has partnered with Dar Blockchain to nurture projects, facilitate growth, and profoundly shape the MENA technology landscape. The partnership focuses on the education and nurturing of Web3 talent within the region through facilitating meetups, hackathons, and university groups, as well as publishing a monthly podcast. Through their focus on Web3 talent, The Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain will strive to advance innovation within the region, furthering the expansion of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and blockchain across the globe.

Together, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association will work to provide insight into blockchain ecosystems, as well as promote the Hedera network, the most innovative, sustainable, enterprise-grade public ledger for the decentralized economy. To foster curiosity and capabilities within the MENA region, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association are partnering to host four hackathons, starting in October 2023.

These events are part of a broader strategy that includes community-building activities and a sourcing phase for an upcoming incubation program tailored for the North African community. This incubation program, to be announced soon, will further support and nurture promising projects emerging from these hackathons. In addition to the hackathons, the collaboration will offer bespoke training sessions, fueling the growth of communities and enterprises, while showcasing the endless possibilities of Web3.

Mohamed Mnif and Jaafar Saied the Co-founders of Dar Blockchain, said: “At Dar Blockchain, our foundation is built on the belief that education is the cornerstone of innovation. We were established with a clear vision: to support and nurture local talents while forging a vital connection between our local Web3 ecosystem and the global blockchain landscape. By providing training sessions that dive into the Hedera Network, and setting up chapters in local universities to connect students from different backgrounds, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association will lay the foundation for the true realization of DLT. This partnership underscores our commitment to empowering the next generation of innovators across the MENA region, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to drive the widespread adoption of Web3 technologies on a global scale.”

Recently, the MENA region has been a frontrunner for Web3 growth and innovation. In October 2022, it was announced that the region was home to the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets. In August 2023, the Dubai AI and Web 3.0 Campus committed to cutting license fees of Web3 and AI firms by 90% in an effort to encourage the move of companies and organizations to the city. 

Kamal Youssefi, President of The Hashgraph Association, said: “The Hashgraph Association’s partnership with Dar Blockchain will accelerate the mass adoption of DLT in the MENA region. With the favorable outlook on crypto in the region, we wish to support this growth and ensure its continued upward momentum. It is a result of this openness to Web3 that we are partnering with Dar Blockchain and committing to advance the MENA Web3 industry.”

With each event and initiative, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association hope to provide a starting point for those interested in the world of Web3. By establishing ways to support Web3 talent in MENA, The Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain will further advance MENA’s blockchain boom and its position as a leader in the field. More details about the collaboration can be found at: Darblockchain.io

UAE based EnjinStarter MENA, a web3 Launchpad and incubator, has become the first launchpad globally to receive initial approval by Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority.

According to the unilateral announcement, EnjinStarter will continue to undertake the in-depth process of applying for a licence, in accordance with VARA requirements.

With the Middle East and North Africa considered to be a booming Web3 market, Enjinstarter is seeking a foothold in the region as it aims to be the premier Launchpad and incubator for Web3 metaverse, gaming, and entertainment experiences.

Enjinstarter has ambitious plans to be the go-to provider for Web3 adoption in the region, including the addition of more portfolio projects focusing on impact and sustainability initiatives that complement the UAE’s commitment to climate action.

“This is an important step for Enjinstarter. Getting initial approval and continuing with our license application makes clear our commitment to achieving the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the Web3 space. We are committed to   conforming to VARA’s high standards and know this will only accelerate our growth in the Middle East and beyond,” said Prakash Somosundram, co-founder and CEO of Enjinstarter.

“Dubai has been laser-focused on establishing itself as a global hub for Web3. It continues to provide much-needed leadership in terms of regulation and innovation, especially with initiatives such as VARA’s own foray into The Sandbox. We are looking forward to getting started here and contributing to Dubai’s growing Web3 ecosystem,” added Vasseh Ahmed, Enjinstarter MENA’s managing director.

UAE DMCC, currently home to 550 Blockchain and crypto entities, and global Web3 incubator TDEFi have partnered to launch an accelerator program for Web3 and Blockchain companies in DMCC crypto center.

The accelerator program will offer mentorship and sessions on crypto and scaling businesses. The program will be over a month long and will run for a minimum of two editions over the next 12 months. 

At the end of each cohort, TDeFi will also select a handful of start-ups to be part of its in-depth incubation program, providing them with access to additional TDeFi advisory services and its growing ecosystem.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said, “Supporting Web3 and blockchain businesses is a key priority for DMCC as we build on the success that the Crypto Centre has seen since its launch. By providing everything crypto businesses and entrepreneurs need to thrive, we have emphatically positioned Dubai as a leading hub for crypto. This latest partnership with TDeFi adds yet another string to our bow and will help emerging crypto businesses bring their ideas to light in Dubai.”

Gaurav Dubey, CEO, TDeFi, added: “Our extensive program comprises various modules that will support entrepreneurs and businesses operating within the crypto space, from ideation to scaling their start-ups. Through its Crypto Centre, DMCC has established a leading ecosystem of Web3 and blockchain businesses, and so there is no better place for us to operate our latest accelerator program. Through this new partnership, we are looking forward to unlocking some truly game-changing projects in the Web3 space.”

EnjinStarter, next generation Launchpad for Blockchain games and the metaverse, which is based out of Singapore, could be setting up base soon in UAE.

Prakash Somosundram CEO and Co Founder at EnjinStarter recently visited Dubai.  Nigel Hawley board advisor and a investor in True Global Ventures (TGV), which also recently invested 3 million USD in a series A round as a lead investor into Enjinstarter hosted the visit. EnjinStarter has received a total of 8 million in funding since its inception.EnjinStarter, built on JumpNet is enabling creators and game developers to run capital raising campaigns and build communities using blockchain tech. Not only do they issue tokens but provide game developers with a way to explore other innovative ways of raising capital including utilizing NFTs. They even have an incubation program, supported by an accredited partner network.

Concurrently the MENA gaming sector is one of the fastest-growing gaming markets in the world, with revenue across the MENA-3 (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt) reaching 1.76 billion in 2021.

Since late 2021 and early 2022, a lot of efforts and investments are moving towards a Blockchain enabled gaming sector. Abu Dhabi based, AD Gaming, an entity driving Abu Dhabi’s fast-growing gaming industry partnered with ATTARIUS Network, a UAE crypto and blockchain company, to bring blockchain solutions to the UAE game developers, with a focus on developing blockchain gaming, ATTARIUS Network to build an all-in-one NFT ecosystem for the gaming industry and digital artists.

Back to EnjinStarter, on the LinkedIN post Hawley stated, “What a great pleasure it was welcoming Enjinstarter, to Dubai. We had a fantastic week introducing Prakash Somosundram, CEO and Co-Founder and Shitij Gupta, CFO, to the Dubai ecosystem.  We started with some interesting metaverse and blockchain panel discussions at the Top CEO Conference and Awards.”

He adds in his post that insightful discussions were also held with UAE Crypto Oasis team represented by Saqr Ereiqat as well as the founders of MetaTerrace.

He notes in his post that the highlight of the discussions where the meeting with the Founder of UAE Based Cypher Capital, which launched in March its 100 million USD fund in Blockchain, crypto startups emphasizing those who have set up a base in UAE. As Hawley states, “Highlight was the fruitful discussions with Bijan AliZadeh, Founder and CEO of Cypher Capital.”

From the comments on the post, it seems likely that there is a good chance that EnjinStarter will be making Dubai as a base for its operations in the MENA region. Hawley adds at the end of the post, “We are looking forward to seeing EnjinStarter in Dubai on a more permanent basis going forward.”

Both Crypto Oasis and Cypher Capital have espoused their intentions to build the blockchain ecosystem in the MENA region. Crypto Oasis recently announced that there are 1000 blockchain crypto companies in the UAE. During Davos CryptoOasis which had targeted 1000 Blockchain and crypto entities by end of 2022, re assessed its aim given that already 1000 blockchain and crypto companies have set up base in the UAE. Crypto Oasis is now aiming to have 1500 Blockchain crypto companies set up in UAE by end of 2022, and it looks like EnjinStarter could be one of them.

In the crypto Oasis press release, Ralf Glabischnig, Founder of Crypto Oasis said, “This is an exciting time for us as we exceed expectations considerably month after month. Our target for the year has been achieved already and we’re anticipating exceptional growth in the future. The first months of 2022 have already shown that the key pillars of growing and building the Ecosystem are talent, capital and infrastructure. We believe we are still at an early stage but with the speed of development and growth that we see day by day across the community in this region, we look forward to further advancing the Blockchain economy in the Middle East.”

In the UAE today 53 percent of organizations active in the Blockchain space are native Blockchain entities, which mean their primary focus is blockchain technology, the rest are non-native blockchain organizations which means they offer services or product related to blockchain but not as their primary focus.