Fasset digital asset exchange has appointed the former CEO of Bahrain Fintech Bay as General Manager for MENA region. Fasset digital asset exchange seeks to empower the next billion with new ways to own connect and share digital assets.

Khalid brings a track record of success as the former CEO and board member of Bahrain FinTech Bay, where he led the development and growth of Bahrain FinTech Bay into a leading fintech hub in the Middle East. Prior to his appointment, Khalid held various leadership positions in the financial services industry, focused on investment banking, market risk management and technology, where he was previously Vice President at J.P. Morgan and Barclays Capital in London.

Fasset announced a partnership with Mastercard, which has chosen the company for its Start Path program to promote the adoption of crypto and blockchain technology, the firm announced on Nov. 3.

“We are thrilled to welcome Khalid to the Fasset team and are confident that his experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to drive innovation and growth in the digital asset space” said Daniel Ahmed, COO, Fasset.

Khalid added, “I am thrilled to be joining Fasset at this pivotal time in the evolution of finance through digital assets. I look forward to driving our vision and building out the web3 ecosystem by creating opportunities for digital asset ownership, utilization, and ultimately empowering the region..”

MasterCard Start Path Program chooses two of the newly announced seven start-ups from UAE. They include Abu Dhabi digital asset exchange Fasset, as well as Dubai based TBTM (Take Back the Mic) Studios which is building the world’s first blockchain-based media fintech, turning culture into currency by rewarding fans and compensating creators for building communities around great content.

In July 2022, Middle East and UK crypto exchange Fasset announced its collaboration with Mastercard to expand its financial reach in Indonesia, after the exchange raised $22 million USD. Fasset currently has operations in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Fasset was granted authorization by the Central Bank of Bahrain to test asset tokenization in the country’s fintech regulatory sandbox.

MasterCard in its endeavor to enhance user experience in NFTs, Blockchain gaming and metaverse has chosen to collaborate with innovative fintech entities working in the Web3 and crypto sphere. 

MasterCard is providing through its program an express lane for Web3 and crypto startups to grow and an ecosystem for them to thrive. As per the press release, “Through the Mastercard Start Path global startup engagement program, we work with digital asset, blockchain and cryptocurrency-based companies that share a vision to make blockchain technology and digital assets more accessible. These companies are making strides to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 and meet consumers where they are today. We’re welcoming a new cohort of startups to ease access to digital assets, build communities for creators and empower people to innovate for the future through Web3 technologies. These companies will join the more than 350 companies from 40 countries that have participated in Start Path since 2014.”

Other start-ups include Singapore based Digital Treasures Center, U.S. based  Loot Bolt, Quadrata, as well as Uptop in addition to Columbian based Stable.

The newest Start Path cohort will engage in growth-essential opportunities including technology collaboration, mentorship, access to channels and customers, and the opportunity to accelerate their digital asset innovations and expand into new markets. 

Since its inception in 2014, Mastercard Start Path has fielded applications from over 1,500 startups every year and the program has helped more than 350 businesses attract well over $3.5 billion in funding.

Blockchain, digital asset and crypto companies are invited to apply for the Mastercard Start Path Crypto program.

UAE based crypto exchange BitOasis, and MasterCard are launching crypto card programs across the MENA region to facilitate day to day usage of cryptocurrencies at points of sale and ecommerce website.

BitOasis customers will be able to convert their cryptocurrency holdings to fiat currency allowing the consumer to easily shop and pay at more than 90 million merchant locations globally. The first BitOasis cards are expected to launch in early 2023 in markets with regulatory approvals.

BitOasis customers, who can also access a range of MasterCard benefits, will be issued with virtual and physical BitOasis cards through a simple and compliant digital on boarding experience via the BitOasis app, allowing them to transact seamlessly physically and online.

BitOasis customer transactions will be enabled to take place in Fiat currency, thereby adding consumer protection – such as provisions for dispute resolution and refunds – which doesn’t exist today when paying with a digital asset. The partnership will address these pain points and further drive customer awareness and crypto adoption in the region. 

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President Market Development, EEMEA, MasterCard, said: “Changes in consumer demand, as they look for new, fast and flexible digital experiences, are fueling an increase in the adoption of emerging payment technologies. With this comes a greater expectation for businesses to provide multiple ways to shop and pay. Through our collaboration with BitOasis, one of the most innovative crypto platforms in MENA, we enable the consumer experience to be seamless by using their cryptocurrencies in a safe and secure environment.”

 Ola Doudin, CEO and co-founder, BitOasis, stated,  “We continue to witness sustained demand amongst our customers for crypto to be integrated into, and relevant, for their daily lives.  Research tells us that 47% of the Middle East population now believe crypto is the future of money. As the largest crypto platform built for the GCC and MENA region, we are delighted to partner with Mastercard to enable BitOasis customers to benefit from the convenience of linking their BitOasis wallets to their BitOasis Mastercard Crypto Cards for use across Mastercard’s global merchant network. Our mission at BitOasis is to enable a new digital financial system that is transparent, inclusive, regulated, and relevant on a daily basis, whilst providing even greater safety and security for cryptocurrency payments. Today’s partnership helps us deliver against our mission”.

It seems BitOasis beat Binance to it. In August Richard Teng head of Binance MENA had stated that they would be close to launching crypto cards with MasterCard in MENA. Since then no announcement. But here is BitOasis all partnered up and ready to go.