Bybit, A global cryptocurrency exchange, which has applied for a license within the UAE through Dubai’s VARA, has released a new study showing institutional investors have increased their ETH holdings ahead of the launch of the spot ETH ETF in the US. Bybit’s institutional exposure to ETH tripled since ETF announcement, from 6.54% to 14.29%.

According to analysts they predict this ETF will capture between $8 and $12 billion from US and global markets, driving Ethereum to new all-time highs by year-end.

According to recent data, Bybit’s institutional investors’ exposure to ETH has almost tripled since the ETF announcement on May 24, 2024—moving from 6.54% to a current weighting of 14.29%. This surge underscores the growing confidence in Ethereum’s future performance and the expected positive impact of the ETF launch.

Retail investors on Bybit have also increased their ETH allocations, although not as dramatically as institutional investors. The allocation to ETH has risen from 7.40% to 9.52%, reflecting a cautious but positive response to the ETF announcement.

“Ethereum is the crypto product favored by traditional capital such as BlackRock and Franklin Templeton, both of whom have tokenized funds on the platform,” said Hao Yang, head of financial products at Bybit. “Given this, the chain seems poised to become the institutional pick. With its native yield, the ETH token allows for composability, and we are seeing protocols building interesting derivatives based on ETH’s stable yield, leveraging this to create crypto primitives that mimic those built on top of the US Treasury market. Finally, because a portion of ETH is burned (sent to a wallet from which no withdrawals are possible), the asset can become deflationary, which means the more network effects kick in, the scarcer the asset becomes.”

Interestingly Institutional investors seem to have pulled out some investments into stablecoins and other crypto assets and moved to Eth. Before ETH ETF announcement, 33% of institutional investors held stablecoins, while after this went down to 25.16%. This is also seen in other crypto assets that were held by investors, where it went down as well from 33.05% to 30.3%.

As for BTC ( Bitcoin) holdings it also went up on Bybit by 4% to 30.26% after ETH ETF announcement.

For the second consecutive year, Dubai will remain in the spotlight as it hosts the second edition of Dubai FinTech Summit, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime
Minister, and Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of DIFC, which is set to take place on 6-7 May at Madinat Jumeirah.

Organized by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, the Summit will bring together 8,000 decision-makers, over 300 thought leaders and more than 200 exhibitors to discuss the latest innovations and challenges and showcase cutting-edge technologies.

The global FinTech sector is rapidly growing and is predicted to be valued at USD 608bn globally by 2029, according to Mordor Intelligence, a market intelligence and advisory firm. Bucking the downward global market trend, the MENA FinTech market is expected to register a CAGR of over eight per cent during the period 2024 to 2029.

Dubai FinTech Summit will offer a platform for start-ups, investors and industry leaders to connect and capitalize on the growing FinTech market in the region and beyond. The MENA region’s FinTech start-up and venture capital landscape is booming, with over 800 FinTech start- ups worth USD15.5 bn, according to data by Reflecting the ongoing transformation in the financial sector driven by Innovation, Inclusion, and Impact, the key themes this year will be Finance Renaissance, Ecofinance and Impact, Investment Vanguard, Regulatory Frameworks, Global Financial Dynamics and FinTech 2.0.

Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO at DIFC Innovation Hub, said: “Nearly 60 per cent of all FinTech companies in the GCC are currently based in Dubai. With the industry growing at an unprecedented rate, it is crucial for stakeholders to gather and discuss the challenges and
opportunities that lie ahead. The Dubai FinTech Summit will bring together the most prominent figures in the industry, with an agenda that is aimed at driving innovation, inclusivity, and growth for all.”

With an impressive line-up of distinguished local and international speakers, the Dubai FinTech Summit will host a series of panel discussions and fireside chats. More than 20 governors of financial institutions will attend the summit this year, amongst them, H.E. Essa
Kazim, Governor, DIFC, UAE; H.E. Dr. Philmnisi, Governor, Central Bank of Eswatini; H.E. Cheaserey, Governor National Bank of Cambodia; H.E. Martin Galstyan, Governor, Central Bank of Armenia; H.E. John Rwangombwa, Governor, National Bank of Rwanda; H.E. Prof. Edward Scicluna, Governor, Central Bank of Malta will participate in discussions during the two-day event. Adena T. Friedman, Chair & CEO of Nasdaq Inc; Nic Dreckman, CEO of Bank Julius Baer & Co.; Yie-Hsin Hung, President & CEO of State Street global advisors and Jim Demare,

President global markets at Bank of America, along with many other global industry leaders will also be participating in the various sessions planned for the Summit. Notable local speakers include H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member & UAE Minister of Economy; H.E. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai; H.E. Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE; and H.E. Faisal Belhoul, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Chamber, Chairman of J&F Holding.

A key highlight of the Dubai FinTech Summit will be the Grand Finale of the FinTech World Cup (FWC). The champions of the FinTech World Cup will be announced on Day 2 of the summit with the winners securing an investment of up to USD 1 million. The competition is a growth-enabling initiative by DFS designed to encourage cross-border collaboration and stellar innovation, pivotal to transforming the global FinTech sector.
In line with the D33 Agenda to position Dubai as the top four global financial hub by 2033, the 2nd edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit is designed to encourage cross-border collaboration and innovation, pivotal to transforming the global FinTech sector. It presents a unique opportunity to explore emerging FinTech trends and their potential to drive financial progress in the MEASA
The inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit attracted over 5,000 C-suite leaders from over 90 countries including north of 1,000 investors and more than 150 speakers. Over 20 Memorandum of Understandings were signed with global financial leaders during the Summit.

After a very successful first European Edition Global Blockchain Congress, Agora Group is coming back to Dubai for its 12th GBC on December 11 and 12, 2023!

The Global Blockchain Congress leverages the experience gained through the hosting of the first 11 editions of the event in Dubai and the international editions in Vietnam and the UK to ensure maximum return on investment for all our sponsors. The previous editions of the Global Blockchain Congress were a tremendous success and we were able to host 1,500+ investors and 300+ blockchain startups and were able to raise millions in funds for our participating projects

The theme of this edition is: “Will the Next Bull Market Be Different?”
Topics of the Congress:
• Land of Decentralized Milk and Honey? Why Crypto
• Companies Are Warming to the United Arab Emirates.
• Digital Assets Outlook 2024.
• Web3 Gaming and the Path to Open Metaverse.
• DeFI, CeFi and ReFi – What’s Next?
• Blockchain Marketing: Shaking Up the Game with Trending Strategies

The event is a closed-door, exclusive congress that can be attended by invitation only where the format of the event is focused on pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between projects and investors.
Agora will be hosting more than 150 Investors, 25 Projects, 60 A-list Speakers & 30 Media Partners from all over the world.

Learn more about the event:

Register here:

Deep Knowledge Group, pioneers of big data analytics system and dashboard solutions have published a report on the top 100 tech investors in the UAE of which 4.6% of their investments are in blockchain technology while 2.9% are in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

The report makes several findings which include that 50% of the top 100 tech investors are venture capital entities with some of the well known blockchain investors including Crypto Oasis, Shurooq Partners, Seed Group, DisruptAD, Ghad Capital Parners, Mubadala and Ceras Ventures.

More than 50% of the top Tech investors are based out of Dubai UAE with 29% of their investments going to the Middle East startups, 17% going to GCC based entities and 18% in Africa.

74% of the top 100 tech investors have invested less than $10 million per deal, while only 11% have invested over $50 million.

In the last 12 months, Kube VC was the most active in terms of investments which totaled 48, followed closely by Maven Capital with 47 investments, and UAE Ghaf Capital making 20 investments.

The data from the report was gathered from all types of funding rounds, non-equity assistance, investors performance and characteristics were collected and analyzed according to various parameters set forth in Deep Knowledge Group evaluation criteria methodology.

The top 100 Tech investors in UAE have been selected based primarily upon the following criteria, ● number of investments made in DeepTech Companies;  potential for equity and non-equity financing (lead investors in seed/venture rounds); Investors overall background, intangible assets and philosophy;  investor investment activity;  % of successful investments; and  Investment impact on the company.

Within the framework of the given research, data related to over 3,000 investment deals, concluded by top 100 UAE tech investors, were collected. The share of deals concluded in 2022 constituted circa 20% of the total number of investment deals.

Data related to 2,600 portfolio companies, 77% of which are among active portfolio companies, has been gather and evaluated according to the ranking framework as well.

Prior to this report, LaraontheBlock issued a survey in early January 2023 entitled “MENA Investor Survey 2022-2023 for crypto Blockchain sector” found that 50% of those surveyed stated they will be allocating more funds to blockchain and crypto projects and entities in 2023. 19% of those surveyed stated in 2022 they had invested more than 50% of allocated capital and funds into crypto and Blockchain projects.

In June 2023 GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and MENA based Investcorp, a global alternative investment firm has led a $15 million investment round for BitMe a Spanish crypto exchange. Included in the list of investors was Telefonica Ventures, Stratminds VC, Cardano, and YGG Fund.While just this week, UAE based Global Millennial Capital Ltd (“Global”), an emerging technology and digital assets investment manager, and venture capital firm launched its Global Millennial Web3 Investment Program, out of UAE which aims to accelerate emerging companies to their full potential in the realm of Web3, DeFi, and Blockchain.

While Qatar has not opened up to the crypto scene, its financial center is opening up to digital assets enabling them to tokenize asset classes to facilitate the needs of qualified investors with its digital assets framework.

Henk Jan Hoogendoorn, Chief Financial Sector Officer, at Qatar Financial Center Authority speaking to Lara on the Block, stated, “ We are developing our digital assets framework to allow for public tokenization of assets, including securities, bonds, and real-estate.”

He emphasizes that they will not go into crypto, NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) or commodities at this time.

Hoogendoorn had discussed digitization in the financial sector in Qatar as well as their digital assets project and the new Fintech strategy of QCB (Qatar Central Bank) during a fireside chat on Digitizing the Financial Sector in Qatar, moderated by Robert Wigley OStJ, BSc, Hon DBA.

Furthermore, Aleksander Biesaga, Acting Project Manager, Roland Berger in a recent LinkedIn post noted, “It was a pleasure to speak to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority on unlocking a new era of ownership, trading and investment via digital assets and tokenization.”

He was referring to the workshop by Roland Berger on the new digital assets framework for Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA).

Both entities QFC, and QFCRA, according to Hoogendoorn are developing and will facilitate the needs of qualified investors and investment firms to tokenize asset classes. He states, “We are looking forward to become a jurisdiction of choice.”

So it seems that while Qatar may not be warming up to crypto, it is moving forward  with its blockchain strategy and digital assets. In Q1 the Qatar Financial Authority signed an MOU with Blockchain entity Settlemint to forward digital asset industry and with R3 Blockchain firm for DLT (Distributed Ledger technology)  

 True Global Ventures 4 Plus (TGV4 Plus) Fund has closed its US$146m Follow on Fund. The Follow on Fund will double down on the TGV4 base fund investments, the likes of Animoca, Sandbox, Forge, Chromaway, CoinHouse, GCEX, and others. Interestingly 40 percent of the Follow on Fund was raised from partners in Middle East, India and Asia. Investment from Middle East partners was 3.4 percent of the 40 percent making their total participation 5 million USD. While portfolio companies such as GCEX, Enjinstarter and IoMob have established operations in Dubai UAE. TGV4 Plus has been partnering with MENA based investors including Cypher Capital and Crypto Oasis among others. 

Valerie Hawley, Affiliate Founding Partner, Middle East True Global Ventures 4 Plus , told LaraOntheBlock, “More than 40% of the Follow on Fund has been raised from partners based in the Middle East, India and Asia, of those 3.4 percent were from Middle East Partners in particular. This just goes to show the increasing importance this region has to play in the Venture Capital space.  Numerous portfolio companies from our base fund, GCEX, Enjinstarter and IoMob, have established operations in Dubai, and we expect many more to do so given the crypto friendly environment the UAE has established with the creation of VARA (Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority).”

The TGV4 plus Follow on Fund  whose 15 General Partners (GP), lead the fund and its Investment Committee, put in more than US$62m of their money into the fund. This is a total GP commitment of over 40% of the total fund size and over US$4m per GP on average. The first capital call of the fund has been fully paid in.

The TGV 4 Plus base fund invested in serial entrepreneurs leading globally ambitious Blockchain start-ups. It covers 20 cities in North America, Europe and Asia. The fund is dedicated to Web3 companies, primarily in late-stage Series A, B and C across 3 verticals: Entertainment & gaming, financial services, infrastructure & data analytics / Artificial Intelligence (AI).

It has invested in some of the leading Web3 companies such as Animoca Brands, The Sandbox, Forge, Chromaway, Coinhouse, GCEX, Chronicled and others. 

The new Follow on Fund will focus on investing a majority of its capital into selected TGV 4 Plus base fund companies. It might also invest in other late stage Web3 deals opportunistically.

“The base fund has been a fantastic success, but we are still only in the starting blocks of Web3. We believe that our early winners will grow even stronger and with the Follow on Fund, we give our partners an opportunity to invest more into these companies” says Fredrik Adolfsson, General Partner.

“After some years of growth, our best portfolio companies are looking to expand even further. We want to help and assist them with the Follow On Fund, as we are ready on the starting blocks, when many growth funds focus on regaining investors’ trust during this period”, says Konrad Wawruch, General Partner.

General Partner Dušan Stojanović adds, “We raised the money in record time in 4 months and we believe this is the best time to invest during market corrections. I would say that it is much easier to see more clearly who the winners are now. This has created a high level of confidence amongst our investors who have seen a large GP Commit and the first call being executed very quickly”.