Saudi Arabia based 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.

A repo is a repurchase agreement, which is defined as short-term lending mechanism that involves a bank selling securities, usually government bonds or other debt instruments with steady values, to an investor and then buying them back a short time after at a slightly higher price.

Muqassa works to reduce post-trade risk by introducing new mechanisms to guarantee the settlement of trades.

The signing was held during Saudi Capital Market Forum (SCMF), held in Riyadh between 19 and 20 February.

Under the MoU, Muqassa will conduct central clearing for all repo transactions on the new platform. Instimatch which leverages blockchain technology, working with Blockchain platforms such as R3 and AlGorand, will be responsible for continually enhancing the trading platform in collaboration with Muqassa, ensuring its adaptation to the evolving requirements of its users.

The MoU will also allow both parties to cooperate in order to introduce new products and services in the Saudi capital market. This will support the efforts exerted for the development and diversification of the market, which come in the context of Vision 2030.

Instimatch’s mission is to establish a global network of trust, enabling counterparties across the globe to conduct money market trades transparently and frictionless. This will facilitate the global flow of liquidity between counterparties, leading to a more efficient, stable and diversified money market system

In 2021, Instimatch Global, and Algorand, blockchain powering secure and efficient frictionless exchange, partnered to disrupt the regulated payment networks with advanced solutions powered by blockchain. Prior to that in 2020, Instimatch had partnered with R3 and also opened up its regional MENA office in Qatar.

UAE based Commercial Bank International PJSC (‘CBI’), a corporate and retail bank headquartered in Dubai, and Fuze, MENA’s digital asset infrastructure provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow both parties to jointly explore digital assets use cases under the comprehensive regulatory frameworks of the UAE.

The agreement between CBI and Fuze provides the foundations for innovative new use cases that leverage the potential of blockchain and digital assets, including investments and payments. Leveraging CBI’s extensive and robust track record in business and personal finance, with Fuze’s cutting-edge digital assets infrastructure and expertise, the two parties will collaborate to develop a suite of digital asset and blockchain products.

Driving this agreement is an underlying demand from customers for safe and regulated digital assets platforms. The collaboration emphasises responsible innovation and as a regulated business, Fuze is committed to structuring compliant products that foster trust and confidence in the UAE’s digital asset ecosystem.

On the occasion of the MoU signing, Giovanni Everduin, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer of Commercial Bank International (CBI) stated, “Pooling the knowledge, expertise and resources of CBI and Fuze will help us explore a range of innovative new digital assets use cases for business and personal finance. This agreement will bring our customers closer to the many opportunities of digital assets, within a safe and regulated environment, in line with the UAE’s world-class virtual assets regulations. The signing of this MoU marks CBI’s commitment to furthering innovation and aligns perfectly with the UAE Government’s prioritisation of innovation as a pivotal force for driving positive change and economic development”.

Mohammed Ali Yusuf (Mo Ali Yusuf), CEO and Co-Founder of Fuze, added, “We’re thrilled to support CBI in connecting customers with future-facing financial products through the power of blockchain infrastructure. Collaborating with CBI marks a significant milestone for digital assets in the UAE. We look forward to supporting the Bank in providing greater financial accessibility and empowerment for their customers through powerful digital assets and cryptocurrency use cases”.

In December 2023, Fuze which had recently received a license from Dubai’s regulator, signed a similar MOU with UAE Fardan Exchange to allow the exchange to offer digital asset products such as buying, selling and transfer.

UAE Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (EO AML/CTF) and the Financial Monitoring Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  to enhance bilateral cooperation in the combatting of financial crimes with focus on virtual assets, public-private partnership (PPP), education and capacity building, and asset recovery.

Knowledge sharing will cover virtual assets, with both parties committed to improving regional and local understanding of the risks associated with ML/TF/PF related to virtual assets. It will also include public-private partnership initiatives with the counterparties agreeing to collaborate on the establishment of rules to exchange strategic and operational information between the public and private sectors to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

Hamid AlZaabi, Director General of the EO AML/CTF, remarked that the signing of the MoU formalizes the commitment made by both countries to protect the integrity of the global financial system. “Effective strategic engagement and cooperation with international counterparties is essential in the fight against financial crime and is central to the UAE’s strategy. The signing of this Memorandum with the FMA in Kazakhstan is significant and comes at a time when the EO AML/CTF is working to strengthen its collaboration efforts with international partners over the long-term. We have decided to focus on four key areas to ensure that our coordination is targeted, allowing us to make a real impact in addressing the most pressing issues in AML/CFT today.”

Zhanat Elimanov, Chairman of the FMA, welcomed to MoU, and said, “This year the relationship between our countries in the AML/CFT field has reached a new level. We have managed to establish an effective exchange of strategic and operational information. This has contributed to the successful investigation of major cases on money laundering committed in our country. We are inspired by UAE’s achievements in implementing IT solutions in AML activities. With great respect, we will adopt this experience”.

UAE Fuze, digital assets infrastructure provider, which recently received a license from Dubai’s regulator, has signed an MOU with UAE Fardan Exchange to allow the exchange to offer digital asset products such as buying, selling and transfer

The MOU was signed by both Hassan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange and Ali Mo Yusuf, the Founder and CEO of Fuze Finance.

The decision to delve into the digital assets domain comes as more clients request digital finance solutions allowing them to buy, sell and transfer digital assets in an easy, safe and use friendly way.

According to Hassan Al Fardan, CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, “ We are committed to innovation as digital transformation becomes more embedded and through this cooperation with Fuze Finance we look forward to offering innovative fintech solutions continuing to offer financial services that are secure, easy, and in line with the future.”

Mo Ali Yusuf, Co-Founder and CEO of Fuze added, “Exchange services are central to the financial sector in the UAE, and Fardan has longstanding history in this field, surpassing 50 years. Al Fardan offers its services to millions of citizens and residents in the UAE and we are proud to be able to develop digital asset solutions for the clients of AL Fardan.”

Prior to this, Fuze partnered with Abu Dhabi headquartered Wio Bank to empower its customers with virtual assets trading services.

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and the People’s Bank of China has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to enhance technical and technological cooperation in the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDC), going beyond initial collaboration on mBridge CBDC project.

As per the UAE Central Bank press release, the signings will enhance the strategic partnership between the two friendly nations and expand the bilateral relations in the financial and economic fields.

His Excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, and His Excellency Pan Gongsheng, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, signed the MOU in Hong Kong in presence of the UAE Counsel General in Hong Kong, H.E. Shaikh Saoud Ali Almualla.

The CBDC MoU aims to enhance collaboration central bank digital currency development and strengthen cooperation between CBUAE and the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China in the field of financial technology. The MoU will enable the exchange of information on best practices and regulations relating to digital currencies and support the implementation of joint initiatives and projects, including the “mBridge” project which is a multi central bank digital currencies platform in facilitating cross-border trade payments instantly and securely.

The MoU also includes cooperation in training and skills development for specialists on both sides and the exchange of bilateral visits to discuss matters of common interest.

Commenting on the signing, H.E Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE, stated, “We look forward to strengthening cooperation with our partners on innovation and solutions in financial technology including central bank digital currency to support the growth of our economy and society.”

Earlier,according to a Chinese media article, the Bank of China announced during The 3rd “Belt and Road” Summit Forum a list of 369 practical cooperation projects of which was an MOU signed with FAB bank of cooperation in digital currency.

Concurrently Standard Chartered announced its participation in the pilot testing program of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) known as the digital Yuan (e-CNY or digital RMB). This move makes Standard Chartered the first foreign bank to engage with the country’s CBDC. According to the announcement, Standard Chartered, in collaboration with City Bank Clearing Services Co, will facilitate e-CNY transactions for its clients. It will allow them to purchase exchange and redeem e-CNY within their bank accounts.

 It is noteworthy that Standard Chartered’s backed digital asset platform, Zodia markets, received an In-Principle Approval (IPA) fulfilling the pre-requisites to receive a Financial Services Permission (FSP) for OTC broker-dealer in virtual assets by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi’s international financial center.

Standard Chartered’s , venture arm SC Ventures, an innovation and fintech investment arm recently partnered with Japanese SBI Holdings to establish a Digital Asset Joint Venture investment company in UAE. The parties intend to capitalize the vehicle with $100 million. The company will invest in DeFi, tokenization, consumer payments and metaverse.

Metaverse creator Animoca Brands Corporation Limited has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“Strategic Partnership”) with NEOM Company (“NEOM”) to drive regional Web3 initiatives in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, after NEOM investment fund signed a term sheet for $50 million investment in Animoca Brands.

As per the Convertible Notes Financing Term Sheet (“Term Sheet”). NEOM Investment Fund is proposing to invest US$50 million in Animoca Brands, of which US$25 million will be via the issuance of convertible notes at a conversion cap price of A$4.50 per share, with substantively the same terms as the strategic funding round previously disclosed by the Company in the announcement of 8 September 2022; and the remaining US$25 million will be invested in purchasing the Company’s shares on the secondary market.

As part of the strategic relationship, Animoca Brands will work with NEOM on building Web3 enterprise service capabilities with global commercial applicability, which will be deployed to support technology advancements in Riyadh and the NEOM region. These projects will include a range of Web3 initiatives, including plans to establish a hub within NEOM to nurture the local Web3 ecosystem and bring in extensive capabilities from across Animoca Brands and its subsidiaries, partners, and broad portfolio of investments.

The execution of definitive documents for the Convertible Notes Financing are subject to a number of conditions precedent.

Majid Mufti, CEO of NEOM Investment Fund, commented: “We are excited to partner with Animoca Brands to support the development of NEOM’s digital infrastructure. Web3 technology and infrastructure development will not only be an important foundation of NEOM’s tech stack and architecture, but also has potential to revolutionize global industries. By partnering with a market-leading company like Animoca Brands, we hope to accelerate Web3 technology development and adoption.”

Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, commented: “We are honored and excited to partner with and receive investment from NEOM, one of the world’s most ambitious projects seeking to use innovation and technology to redefine how we live, work, and play. We have always referred to the growth of the Web3 ecosystem as the emergence of a new meta-nation, and now NEOM could well become the first region to fully harness the power of blockchain.”

The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), the legal and tax arm of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC have signed an MOU with the Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF), a research institute of the National University of Singapore (NUS), to embark on projects encompassing ESG, Fintech, digital assets, Web3 and other emerging technologies.

In addition to these efforts, both partners will actively facilitate the exchange of knowledge and insights to further their common goals and objectives.

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC, expressed his optimism about this partnership, stating, “We are excited to join forces with the Asian Institute of Digital Finance at the National University of Singapore to explore and capitalize on the numerous opportunities in the ever-evolving digital landscape. This partnership reflects our commitment to innovation and our belief in the power of collaboration to drive positive change. We see this collaboration as a significant step, not only in the direction of constructing a more inclusive financial sector but also in forging a path towards a more sustainable future.”

Likewise, Associate Professor Huang Ke Wei, Executive Director, NUS Asian Institute of Digital Finance expressed their enthusiasm for the collaboration, saying, “The NUS Asian Institute of Digital Finance empowers the future of finance through digital innovation and academic excellence, and provides thought leadership through a holistic blend of education, research, and business incubation. Our vision is to catalyse the evolution of the digital economy by fostering innovation and imparting knowledge. This collaboration with QFC marks a significant step towards fostering cross-regional knowledge exchange, setting the stage for a brighter, interconnected digital future.” The partnership between the QFC and NUS AIDF underscores their shared commitment to innovation and sustainability and catalysing positive global transformation by leveraging technology.

QFC has been moving forward with its digital asset strategy and framework.

UAE based RAK Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO) and Blockchain AI empowered platform Humans.ai  have partnered to drive artificial intelligence innovation in the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) UAE. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signifies the launch of an operational collaboration that will reshape AI technology within the world’s first Free Zone dedicated to global digital and virtual asset companies.

The strategic alliance aims to provide exclusive incentive packages to the first AI-focused companies establishing themselves in RAK DAO. These companies will gain access to RAK DAO’s partner ecosystem, offering services like toolkits, Dapps, tech solutions (including Humans.ai), investment opportunities, venture capital partners, banking, and licensing.

This partnership intends to create a robust blockchain framework that empowers AI companies in RAK DAO. This framework ensures secure governance and operation of AI models while maintaining transparency. Additionally, companies will tap into Humans.ai’s network, products, services, tools, and tech support to enhance operational efficiency and capabilities.

Sabin Dima, Humans.ai’s Founder and CEO, emphasized the significance of the partnership in fostering innovation, technological advancement, and economic growth. The combined expertise of Humans.ai and RAK’s visionary support will establish an ecosystem that encourages entrepreneurship and AI adoption, thereby impacting the global AI landscape.

Dr. Sameer Al Ansari, CEO of RAK DAO, underscored the partnership’s role in propelling Ras Al Khaimah to the forefront of AI technology. The collaboration will explore avenues to accelerate AI advancement, including joint Accelerators, Venture Studios, and similar initiatives that catalyze AI-driven entrepreneurship.

Humans.ai is in the UAE after partnering with UAE based blockchain consultancy studio Deca4 in Dubai.

In addition Humans.ai Blockchain for AIs introduced wrapped AI NFTs using Hedera Hashgraph blockchain network. Humans.ai’s cutting-edge Blockchain for AIs has launched its cross-chain interoperability with Hedera Hashgraph, to revolutionize the way AI NFTs are used across different platforms.

Humans.ai aims to scale the company’s innovative wrapped AI NFTs on the Hedera blockchain as a growing community of projects, applications, and ecosystem tools provide compelling reasons to choose Hedera to bring AI NFTs to the masses.

UAE based Venom Blockchain has signed an MOU ( Memorandum of Understanding) with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and environment to launch the first blockchain enabled national system for carbon credits.

The collaboration aims to reduce emissions and enhance sustainable agriculture, environmental health, and biodiversity in the UAE. This will be achieved by providing the highest levels of transparency, reliability, efficiency, and security in managing the issuance, transfer, calculation, and accurate tracking of carbon credits, as well as facilitating the digitisation process.

The MoU was signed by Mohammed Said Al Nuaimi, Acting Under-Secretary of MoCCAE, Taryam Matar Taryam, CEO of Industrial Innovation Group, and Peter Knez, Chair of the Foundation Council at Venom Foundation, at the Ministry’s office in Dubai.

Almheiri said, “As the UAE prepares to host COP28 in November, the country is striving to double its efforts and showcase its inspiring experience to the world in addressing climate change by reducing carbon emissions across different sectors. The UAE believes in its ability to make a difference in this field and has pledged, through the Third Update of its second Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to reduce its emissions by 40 percent compared to a business-as-usual scenario, an increase of 9 percent over its previous pledge.”

She added, “This requires working according to a scientific approach based on modern technology and the highest levels of transparency to monitor carbon credits to work according to realistic data, achieve tangible results on the ground, and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The collaboration with the Industrial Innovation Group and Venom Foundation to establish the national system for carbon credits using blockchain is an important step in this field and reflects our determination to enhance the UAE’s climate action for a more sustainable future for us and future generations.”

Taryam Matar Taryam, CEO of Industrial Innovation Group, said, “We are honoured to contribute to the establishment of the UAE’s first national carbon credits registration system. The Industrial Innovation Group, with more than 30 years of experience, is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and endeavours to reduce the environmental impact through decarbonisation, as global climate change is closely linked to the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

He added that the Group has a long history of creating large-scale national records and excels in developing sustainable pathways for different business sectors, conceptualising decarbonisation initiatives, establishing project documents for various carbon stock records, and effectively managing, monitoring, and reporting carbon use projects.

Peter Knez, Chair of the Foundation Council at Venom Foundation, stated, “Venom Foundation has provided an unparalleled solution, acting as a key infrastructure for a global ecosystem for Web3 applications, with superfast transaction speeds and unlimited scalability to meet governments’ needs.” Knez added that the Foundation is “the first company in the UAE to develop and licence its blockchain technology and shape the future of national decentralised systems and digitise operations in corporate and government enterprises”.

The MoU aims to achieve four strategic objectives related to reducing and cutting greenhouse gas emissions to achieve climate neutrality, developing agribusiness, and promoting responsible investment in agriculture and sustainable food systems, enhancing the economic value of the Environmental Health Programme and conserving biodiversity to enhance the use of ecosystem services for sustainable development.

The main areas of cooperation between the three parties are in developing basic approaches and specific technological solutions for the project of a global platform for registering and issuing carbon credits in the UAE, within the regulatory frameworks of government decisions related to the project of the national system for issuing and registering carbon credits, and providing a blockchain-based solution for safe and effective management of the national system for issuing and registering carbon credits, and identifying and selecting projects related to reducing or removing carbon emissions.

The collaboration also aims to develop a legislative and regulatory framework by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to establish a national system for issuing and registering carbon credits. This includes creating of a licenced platform and leveraging blockchain technology to ensure the safe and efficient production of carbon credit registration system documents. The cooperation also ensures system integration to meet all requirements for establishing and developing business operations and the comprehensive process of issuing and registering carbon credits. Furthermore, it includes evaluating projects to reduce carbon emissions and remove carbon to ensure process transparency and environmental integration. This collaboration ultimately aims to contribute to achieving the UAE’s NDCs.

Once again Bybit is supporting the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in the UAE. Yesterday it was with DMCC crypto center, and today it is with the University of Sharjah. Bybit has contributed $272.000 equivalent to 1 million AE to establish a scholarship fund to support 20 students to accelerate their academic and research career into fintech and blockchain at the American University of Sharjah.

20 computer science and computer engineering students will benefit from the Bybit Scholarship as soon as this fall.

Bybit is also committed to broader initiatives including an extra AED 100,000 to sponsor a hackathon for the blockchain community in the UAE. The first AUS-Bybit Inter-College Hackathon will be held at the AUS College of Engineering in the 2023-2024 academic year.

“AUS’ reputation as a center for education excellence stems in part from its strong industry links that allows it to continuously bridge gaps between industry and academia. Through this partnership with Bybit, our students will have access to the technical knowledge that helps them keep up with all that is novel in the crypto and blockchain industry, enhance their skills and support their education through the establishment of the Bybit Scholarship. At AUS, we graduate professionals and lifelong learners who are capable of making a difference in an ever-evolving world,” said Dr. Susan Mumm, Chancellor of AUS.

“Younger generations hold the key in driving the blockchain revolution forward,” said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit. “We are pleased to create the Bybit Scholarship at AUS to help their talented students’ future-proof their knowledge and skills. We thank AUS for the opportunities to raise crypto awareness and share first-hand knowledge of the industry with students from one of the most prestigious universities in the region. I look forward to being inspired by the future engineers, blockchain scientists, and Web3 startup founders.”