The second annual conference Decipher, by the Algorand Foundation is being held today until the 30th of November at Madinat Jumeirah Conference & Events Centre in Dubai, UAE.  The Algorand Foundation’s mission is to grow and empower the ecosystem around Algorand-the leading carbon-negative Layer-1 blockchain-and Decipher’s programming will highlight top founders and investors from both within and beyond the Algorand network.

The event will witness more  than 120 speakers across four stages and 50 sessions. Registrants will also be able to sign up for one-on-one mentoring with blockchain leaders, learn to set up wallets and experience play-to-earn games, explore a high-end curated NFT art gallery, take part in hands-on workshops designed for developers and led by the engineers and product leaders behind the Algorand protocol, and more.

Topics include Financial Inclusion at Scale: A World Tour featuring Sanzar Kakar, Founder of HesabPay; Victor Mapunga, Co-Founder & CEO of FlexFinTx; Abhinav Sinha, Cofounder, Eko India Financial Services; and Matt Keller, Head of Social Impact at the Algorand Foundation.

Also is the topic of Building the Next Crypto Capital featuring Basil Al Askari, CEO & Cofounder of MidChains; Benjamin Ampen, CEO MENA at Kraken; and Jehanzeb Awan, Chairman of the Middle East, Africa and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association.

As well as the topic of payments revolution featuring  Khaled Moharem, President Middle East at WadzPay; Eduardo Novillo Astrada, CEO & Cofounder of AgroToken; and more to be announced.

In addition topics include Safer Bridges to a Multichain Future featuring Nico Arqueros, Primary Contributor, Milkomeda; Adi Ben-Ari, Founder & CEO, Applied Blockchain; and Hugo Philion, CEO & Cofounder, Flare Network

Venture Perspectives Across the Crypto Landscape featuring Terry Culver, CEO & General Partner at DFG Group; Mona Hamdy, Chief Strategy Officer at Sino Global Capital; Abhinav Pathak, Research Partner at Woodstock Fund; and Ryan Terribilini, Head of Ecosystem Funding at the Algorand Foundation

View the full agenda and speaker lineup at

UAE Midchain’s, crypto exchange for trading digital assets has partnered with UAE Al  Maryah Community Bank, the leading digital bank to provide a secure channel for investing and trading cryptocurrencies and digital assets through the bank’s establishment of escrow accounts in UAE dirhams to protect investors’ funds on cryptocurrency trading platforms and boost their trust.

Within the framework of this cooperation, Al Maryah Community Bank seeks to support cryptocurrency trading platforms by using artificial intelligence technologies to automate transfers of Escrow accounts while purchasing and trading transactions according to the highest standards of safety, reliability, and transparency, and to accommodate the needs of investors and enhance the trust in the cryptocurrency market. This will be monitored by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and will be facilitated according to its regulations and laws to protect investors and to ensure the protection of investors’ accounts by separating them from the accounts of trading companies in order to avoid any potential risks.

This step contributes to achieving the strategy of the Al Maryah Community Bank to develop innovative and safe solutions for digital investment in line with the vision of the Abu Dhabi Global Market to strengthen the UAE’s economy and Abu Dhabi’s leading status as a global financial center, which was symbolized by the concept of the “Falcon Economy” that was announced during the activities of the “Abu Dhabi Financial Week”.

On this occasion, Mohammed Wassim Khayatah CEO of Al Maryah Bank stated, “We seek to protect users of local trading platforms from any potential risks, in accordance with the regulations of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, and as part of such efforts, we are pleased to cooperate with “MidChains”, one of the first local trading platforms for cryptocurrencies and digital assets that is fully licensed by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, in order to provide safe Escrow accounts that protect investors’ funds and separate them from trading companies’ accounts, thus protecting transfers, transactions, and balances of funds in cryptocurrency trading.

In return, Basil Al-Askari added, “If cryptocurrency is to become mainstream, it is clear that mainstream players will need to be involved. Our partnership with Al Maryah Community bank comes in line with similar partnerships being forged across the virtual asset industry. Traditional institutions are working alongside exchanges to expand access to this exciting and innovative new asset class. As one of the only fully licensed exchanges in the world we can offer banks a trusted platform partner with regulatory oversight to provide a feasible way into the virtual asset space for their existing customers and also help the bank attract a whole new type of crypto savvy consumer.”

This week several entities each one in a different sector announced that they have become the first in their fields to accept crypto payments. Writing this piece I get a feeling that this will soon become common practice. For the past few months all one reads is more and more entities in UAE accepting crypto payments, whether they are schools, restaurants, property developers, Emirates airlines, retail shopping centers such as Majid Al Futtaim and many more. This time it is the turn for art galleries and charities. The majority of crypto enthusiasts and those passionate about Blockchain and crypto have been waiting for this for a long time; it signals the entrance of crypto into mainstream economy and once that happens there is no turning back. Bearish or bullish markets are of little significance because everyone is into crypto.

So Yesterday UAE based Galloire, art gallery announced that it is now accepting crypto payments such a Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDC for artwork sales globally. It is doing so through UAE based digital asset exchange, Midchains. Prior to this DAMAC properties announced it was accepting crypto payments through UAE based digital asset exchange Hayvn

Founder of Galloire Edward Gallagher said; “We have an absolute belief in the use of technology to bring art to as wide an audience as possible, so by using photorealistic VR and AR you’ve already seen us bring exhibitions from world-famous artists to tens of thousands more people than could have ever seen it in the gallery. We want more people to connect with contemporary art and also believe in an egalitarian approach to how people want to pay for that art: Why should we force a crypto-native person to pay in traditional (fiat) currency to acquire a beautiful painting, and vice-versa, why should a traditional collector looking to venture into NFTs have to pay in crypto-currency just to access some digital art they fall in love with?”

MidChains CEO Basil Al Askari said; “We are a company which prides itself on innovation and being able to provide safe and regulated ways to transact and invest with cryptocurrency, so working with Galloire to enable collectors to invest in art using their preferred cryptocurrency made perfect sense to us. Enabling people to pay securely for a physical asset with a digital asset, especially something as impactful as art, is a huge step forward in the UAE and we have been able to power that today, not in months or years’ time.”

Prior to this, UAE government backed nonprofit healthcare organization also became the first healthcare charity to accept cryptocurrency donations.  Al Jalila Foundation announced that it had been granted approval to receive charitable donations in cryptocurrencies. Again Al Jalila did this through a partnership with a leading cryptocurrency platform without naming it.  

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “As a philanthropic organization we rely on charitable donations and we are always seeking innovative ways to expand our donation channels for ease of convenience for donors from all around the world to support our programs. Therefore, as an emerging source of fundraising, providing the opportunity to the growing number of crypto users around the world to donate to Al Jalila Foundation to causes that interest them is a win-win for us as a foundation and the donor community. We are proud to be the first healthcare charity in the UAE to accept donations in cryptocurrencies bridging the gap between physical and digital currency.”

One thing remains to be seen, is when the UAE government announces that it accept crypto payments, then I will just call it a day and name UAE the crypto nation of 2022.