In collaboration with Saudi Arabian Blockchain tech provider Limar, MRHB Network, Fintech DeFi firm will be localizing MRHB’s Souq NFT platform for KSA and GCC markets.

As per the license agreement, the venture will see the localization of MRHB’s Souq NFT platform for the Saudi Arabian and Gulf markets, leveraging Limar’s pioneering experience in blockchain technology and advanced tech solutions.

Limar is a Saudi Teh company that focses on solving problems using advanced technologies since 2017. Limar has since been backed by AlNahdi United Group.It focuses on raising awareness for the adoption of decentralized appliation, or Blockchain networks in Saudi Arabia and the region. Limar is also a member of the Hyperledger Community.

Through this license agreement, Limar has licensed the Souq NFT platform from MRHB to create an Arabic version that caters specifically to Saudi Arabian customers. This localized version will run on a private blockchain developed by Limar, ensuring compliance with the Kingdom’s regulatory frameworks and cultural nuances.

By licensing the Souq NFT platform to Limar, MRHB Network is not only expanding its global footprint but also reinforcing its commitment to ethical and culturally sensitive financial solutions.

Limar has developed a crypto free Web3 ecosystem that will enable the adoption of Web3 in KSA focusing on eliminating the legal constraints of crypto with compleiance and usability at the core. They have developed AlMajra Blockcain and Hesa Wallet that allows startups and organizations to quickly deploy secure private blockchain networks.

Earlier this year, DeFi firm, MRHB built for Ethical and Inclusive DeFi expanded into the Saudi market after receiving a license from the Ministry of Investment. MRHB plans to relocate its research and development team to Riyadh KSA.

Metaverse gaming platform Sandbox and its Saudi partner SandSoft, has partnered with KSA’s first regulated NFT platform Nuqtah to grow decentralized gaming in KSA and MENA.

As per the press release, the partnership will support the emergence of a world-class Web3 gaming ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. The partnership with Nuqtah will focus on creating exciting experiences that align with the unique tastes and preferences of Saudi Arabian gamers.

To kickstart this initiative, Nuqtah will launch a Design Contest using VoxEdit, the 3D editor of The Sandbox, for local creators in the region in early 2024. Winning creations will be featured on Nuqtah’s NFT marketplace. The Sandbox, Sandsoft and Nuqtah will also work jointly to enable creators to build experiences in The Sandbox metaverse that are specifically tailored to the Saudi Arabian region, while Nuqtah will list land and avatars from The Sandbox on its NFT marketplace.

Sebastien Borget, the COO and Co-founder of The Sandbox, commented, “We’re pursuing our journey of innovation and growth in the Saudi region following our recent partnership announcement with Sandsoft. Together with pioneers such as Nuqtah, we’ll collaborate to attract more local creators from Saudi Arabia into our user-generated content platform and enable them to monetize their digital assets creations on Nuqtah’s platform.”

Salwa Radwi, the CEO of Nuqtah, added, “The partnership between The Sandbox, Sandsoft and Nuqtah is an exciting development for the decentralized gaming community. By collaboratively building local experiences, focusing on education, and attracting regional audiences, our aim is to create a vibrant and inclusive ecosystem that empowers creators and gamers. Launching a Design Contest with VoxEdit is a joint effort to empower the Saudi creators community in the metaverse.”

David Fernandez, the CEO of Sandsoft, explained “At Sandsoft, our commitment has always been to uplift local talent, drive education, and responsibly promote emerging technologies. This partnership will spotlight emerging regional talent and create immersive local content for The Sandbox metaverse that inspires a new generation of creators. It’s a significant milestone in building a boundary-breaking metaverse community in the MENA region.”

The Sandbox, Sandsoft, and Nuqtah have committed to empowering creators, fostering inclusivity in the blockchain ecosystem, and driving educational initiatives for a passionate metaverse community. This marks the beginning of a strategic partnership paving the way for a joint venture to expand The Sandbox ecosystem across KSA, GCC, and MENA, shaping the future of decentralized gaming in Saudi Arabia.

Barcelona-based Blockchain enabled NFT marketplace, Plastiks, has partnered with Egyptian clothing brand Concrete, as part of plastic removal initiatives in the country. Plastiks specializes in connecting plastic recovery projects with companies and individuals across the globe who sponsor such projects. 

With its new partnership, Plastiks will facilitate the tokenization of plastic recovery projects sponsored by Concrete in Egypt. This facility, powered by blockchain technology, ensures complete transparency, monitoring, and traceability of such recovery operations.

Concrete is committed to contributing to societal and environmental sustainability. As part of this commitment the company sponsors a number of plastic removal projects in order to advance the fight against plastic pollution. 

By partnering with Plastiks, Concrete seeks to improve the lives of waste pickers by providing them with additional income and incentivizing them to recover more plastic from the environment. The first recovery project sponsored by Concrete is the Guardians of The Sea initiative, which focuses on two important regions in Egypt, the Red Sea and the Dahab region. Concrete assists in collecting and recycling plastic wastes from this vital area and helps to turn them into different products.

This partnership also enables the company to promote the purpose of sustainability projects to its consumers in a better way. Labels will be attached to Concrete’s clothing where the message of the collaboration will be placed, along with a QR code. By scanning the QR code, the consumer can visit the “Concrete Sustainability Dashboard” where they can access details of the recovery projects. The details include: where this plastic has been recovered from, the type of plastic recovered, and the invoice number can be viewed with absolute transparency.

“Our aim is not simply to compensate for plastic waste, rather we are committed to fixing the fundamental problem of lack of incentives for the waste pickers in developing countries. By connecting them with global companies, we ensure investment and expertise, thereby improving their overall operation and value perception. This enables them to work in a professional and convenient way. Our business model powered by web3 technology provides plastic collectors with additional income in exchange for the valuable project data they share. This data can be utilized by corporations to choose suitable projects for funding as part of their sustainability commitments,” says Andre Vanyi-Robin, CEO of Plastiks.

KSA born Nuqtah NFT marketplace has signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Saudi Telecom group (STC) to tokenize photographs from stc’s Sarha project and mint them in the form of non-fungible assets exclusively on the Nuqtah NFT marketplace.

As per the blog, STC is committed to delivering the best customers experience through its advanced technology and innovative solutions.

Sarha, the world’s first content-generating camel, is set to take its viewers on a journey of discovery. The camel travelled around Saudi Arabia in tandem with the most skilled photographers, capturing stunning images and videos that will be shared with the world.

Sarha’s journey will take its viewers further than ever before with the broadest network and widest coverage. This unique project provided by stc  has be used to create amazing experiences for people all over the world.

As such Nuqtah and stc have come together to create a unique collaboration that will bring the world of photography and blockchain technology together. Through this collaboration, Nuqtah will be creating Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) from photographs taken by stc.

This Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the main stage at the Leap 2023 Tech Forum in the capital, Riyadh, KSA. 

Salwa Radwi, Founder of Nuqtah NFT on LinkedIn stated, “At Nuqtah, we are proud to be the first blockchain and Web3 Company in Saudi Arabia to gain this amount of trust and approval from public and private bodies on a national and international scale.”

KSA Web 3 NFT Marketplace, NuqtahNFT sponsors LEAP tech convention that will be taking place in Riyadh Saudi Arabia from February 6th-9th 2023. 

LEAP is one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest annual tech events. A yearly 3-day tech convention held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest debut tech event as of 2022, with over 100,000 attendees worldwide. It is co-organized by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Informa Tech, and the Saudi Federation For Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones.

Wajd Badawi, Head of Operations at NuqtahNFT, commented: “We are very excited about this partnership. Part of our mission is to enable individuals and institutions in Saudi with Web 3.0 technologies, and LEAP is a great platform for us to showcase the different use-cases through the NFTs activations we are providing.” 

This agreement is pushing the current boundaries of the Saudi NFTs scene with various activations powered by NuqtahNFT. Such as Digital Collectibles to be gifted to VIP attendees as Photography NFTs of a curated collection of photographs by Saudi photographers’ that showcases the beauty of Saudi Arabia’s landscape from all around Saudi. NuqtahNFT are also providing LEAP with variety of NFTs to be displayed at the exhibition. Additionally, NuqtahNFT developed a “Community Pass”, an exclusive collection with variety of utilities for LEAP’s community in which they can benefit from at LEAP 2024.

Badawi commented: “Our main objective from this partnership is to give a platform to the Saudi and regional Originators, educate global and local attendees about Saudi Arabia’s heritage and support tourism through art and technology and increase the adoption of Web 3.0 applications such as NFTs in the Kingdom. And for that, we want to express our thanks to LEAP for allowing us to be the first Saudi company to provide these solutions.”

UAE based Venom Blockchain which recently received a license from ADGM ( Abu Dhabi Global Market)  in early October 2022, now has a regulated virtual asset exchange on its roster, Yoshi Markets,  renamed to Venomex.

In March 2022, Yoshi Markets previously known as Arabian Bourse Limited (ABX), received the Financial Services Permission (FSP) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The FSP allowed Yoshi Markets to operate as a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and Custodian for virtual assets.

Now Yoshi Markets has renamed itself to Venomex, reflecting the recently approved Venom Blockchain platform, which will allow the provisioning of virtual assets and blockchain based services. Venom blockchain is building the first NFT marketplace in the UAE from ADGM as well as the issuance of first fiat backed stablecoin.

Mustafa Kheriba, the Executive Chairman of Venomex, stated, “This is an exciting time for us at Venomex. The new name and brand will further position Venomex as an entity that aims to harness the potential of Virtual Assets and Blockchain in a much more impactful manner. With the new name, we plan to unveil services that will have multi-faceted use cases and benefits for our customers and strategic partners alike.”

Arshad Khan, CEO of Venomex, added, “We are extremely happy to announce the new name. As the Virtual Assets landscape is shaping up in the UAE, owing to the clarity of regulations and emergence of multiple ventures in this space, we see the rebranding initiative as the first step towards becoming an end-to-end ecosystem player. I would like to thank the Venomex shareholders and the FSRA for their continuous support and guidance.”

Venomex Limited is a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and Custodian, based in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and has received FSP from Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM. As a virtual asset MTF and Custodian, Venomex aims to be a preferred venue for virtual assets listing, trading, settlement and custody and will offer a fully integrated ecosystem to institutional, HNI and retail investors.

UAE ADGM ( Abu Dhabi Global Market) announced on LinkedIn that Venom Blockchain has become the first ADGM licensed crypto foundation to build a scalable blockchain platform. ADGM also stated, “Venom is on its way to developing an NFT marketplace, derivative exchange and fiat-backed stablecoin”

The statement adds that Venom Foundation is set to become one of the most anticipated blockchain phenomena, enriching the ADGM community and the nation as a whole!

As per the news Venom Foundation perpetually works on providing an abundant bundle of scalable blockchain-powered products and services for the wider financial community. Through robust security measures and a rich database, Venom Foundation has produced an array of self-sufficient tools, including ewallets, decentralised exchanges and more.

The statement then adds, “Subject to the relevant regulatory approvals, Venom Foundation will work with ecosystem participants to ensure that such products are offered in a compliant manner within the trusted and well-regulated environment of ADGM.”

ADGM’s UAE virtual asset regulator in Abu Dhabi,  FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority) of ADGM ( Abu Dhabi Global Market) had recently announced enhancements on its capital markets framework, allowing for the trading of NFTs  (Non Fungible tokens) on virtual asset regulated platforms, This means that MTFs/Custodians (Multilateral trading Facilities) operating within ADGM are now able to seek approval from the FSRA to engage in Non-Fungible Token (NFT) activities.

It would seem that Venom is the first fruit of this new framework.

Prior to the announcement Venom Foundation released their press release, where they stated that, “Venom Foundation has been registered as the first crypto foundation in the ADGM, with a license to operate a blockchain and issue utility tokens. ADGM is well known as a fintech oasis for investors and financial services firms in the region and from around the globe. The next essential step of Venom Blockchain – its launch – will be announced soon.”

Venom blockchain is an asynchronous blockchain technology of dynamical sharding, that has made a leap in blockchain technology development globally, bringing to the market boundless scalability, and higher security guarantees with decentralization.

Venom Foundation has  three core directions, such as Essential Infrastructure, Support of Inbound Projects, Developer-friendly Platform, each to offer novel solutions for solving earlier existing issues in the crypto market.

As per Venom news,  the most valuable feature for the MENA region market is the technology that enables major corporations and companies to conduct an easy and secure transition into Web3 globalization, managing the gross data transaction flows without faltering by increasing fees and transaction times.

Venom Foundation’s main priority is to develop and support a self-sufficient blockchain ecosystem and it has already yielded significant results: non-custodial Wallet (VenomWallet mobile application and Desktop Browser Extension) with a Multisig accounts option and Ledger support, VenomScan (to keep everything transparent with access to transactions history), VenomBridge (allowing the interchain transactions to be made fast, while low price), VenomPools (to stake on Validator nodes), VenomGet (an easy gateway to Venom tokens), Web3.World (native decentralized exchange) has been built.

Venom also mentioned that individual developers, companies, and government authorities will be able to engage Venom Foundation to establish new products such as NFT marketplace, Derivative Exchange, fiat-backed stablecoin, and many others to come with the potential to become a bridge toward wide adoption of CBDC in the UAE, other MENA countries and globally.

Artfi, a non-fungible token (NFT) focused startup, has raised $3.26 million from several investors including Sheikha Hend Al Qassemi, a member of the ruling family of Emirate of Sharjah, and Raza Beig, director of Landmark Group, UAE.

The current funding was raised at a valuation of $100 million. Artfi is on a mission to democratize the fine art space by fractionizing high-value artworks into limited editions NFTs.

The NFTs will be minted on the polygon network. The fine art fintech company is now gearing up for whitelisting for its first fine art NFT offering from August and is also working towards developing a museum in the metaverse where the art collection will be always accessible.

Asif Kamal, Founder of Artfi stated that the company will use the investment funds to build its technology and a dedicated marketplace for fine art NFTs. A portion of the funds will also be deployed to strengthen its product and team.

Kamal stated in an interview, “Artfi was launched with a vision to make art accessible to everyone. People can now invest in fine art with a very nominal investment and can liquidate it whenever they need to by using the secondary marketplace. At the end of the day, the company will re-sell the art that the Artfi Museum holds on behalf of NFT owners and share the profit with each NFT holder who owns shares in the painting. This is an opportunity for people to now diversify their portfolios from stocks, fixed deposits etc. and invest in one of the largest asset classes that have outperformed all these traditional investments for over 30 years.”

Artfi has already onboarded paintings from eminent personalities including contemporary British artist Sacha Jafri and Indian abstract artist VS Gaitonde.

The NFT (Non Fungible Token) marketplace trading volume is currently at around 4 billion USD per month despite the crypto bearish sentiments. Yet, the NFT segment is still far from saturated or mature, thus promising massive opportunities. Dubai-based OasisX, the first multi chain curated NFT Marketplace and Creator Studio is launching in a few weeks, paving the way for MENA based creators, collectors, and brands to take part in this new digital era. The platform has already on boarded more than 100 artists for its launch in addition to multiple regional brands for web3 activations.

Najib Khanafer, Ramzi Mneimneh, and Jimi Ibrahim decided to take on the challenge of building secure and accessible tools to navigate the NFT and web3 world, bringing meaningful impact to artists, creators, collectors and brands from the region. All three have extensive knowledge in crypto, blockchain and technology and have been early adopters of this disruptive digital trend According to the founders, Web3 is a more trustworthy foundation for achieving financial freedom; and NFTs represent a first, modest step towards solving one of the core problems of Web 2.0: digital applicability and ownership.

LaraontheBlock sat down with the Co-Founder of OasisX Najib Khanafer to learn more about the founders’ story and their unique and innovative platform, predicted to onboard artists, creators and collectors into the realm of NFTs.

What is OasisX?

As the name suggests, an oasis is a fertile ground in the middle of the desert, where water and plants are found. The X in OasisX is for Xploration, and marks the final destination for creators, collectors, and brands to position themselves on the web3 map. OasisX is a world where creativity is unlocked and where everyone can belong and discover their full potential.

NFTs have the right formula for success in MENA. Creative talent, culture, and the rich history of the region coupled with right tech infrastructure and regulatory environment will drive adoption. Khanafer states, “We are building the tech foundation and frontier to bridge the gap between MENA creators and web3, while providing collectors with a new way to support, own and trade in the upside of creativity.”

The broad NFT ecosystem continues to grow and expand, branching out into various new fields that have yet to be explored. At OasisX, users will be exposed to a wide range of categories, including 1/1 art, editions, PFPs, domain names, metaverse objects, music, and many more. To cater to that, OasisX supports the creation of NFTs using different multimedia types such as images, gifs, videos, audio, AR/VR, 3D objects and even documents.

Khanafer states: “We are still just scratching the surface of NFT applications. OasisX aims to support future use cases beyond digital art and collectibles, the obvious being other forms of creative output like utility NFTs and financial contracts (real-world assets). ”

With this in mind, OasisX intends to empower communities by supporting ownership through its inclusive NFT marketplace and Creator Studio, which will unlock new opportunities for artists, creators, brands, and collectors.

NFTs at scale done easy

The current NFT journey is complex, expensive and out of reach for artists, creators and creative teams. The Creator Studio, LaunchX, will securely enable its users to create, manage and mint NFTs at scale, without a single line of code, and at a highly reduced cost.

Khanafer explains, “We created a product that gives creators and brands the opportunity to engage with a tech trend. LaunchX is powered by an AI art generator, a smart contract creator and minting page editor, preserving true creative ownership.”

The user-friendly platform removes the barriers to entry for anyone who wants to tokenize their IP, while reducing the go-to-market and NFT deployment time from months to minutes. In short, LaunchX will enable NFT project creation in a few clicks.

Community empowering NFT Marketplace

As for the Marketplace, it allows users to list and shop NFTs on multiple chains including Ethereum, Polygon and Solana, while offering simple on boarding, non-crypto checkout options, and many other power tools such as bulk creation. Additionally, in its efforts to serve the MENA region, OasisX supports Arabic language on the platform.

Building the Oasis

After raising its pre-Seed round led by angel investors; the company is now looking to raise an additional 3 million USD in a new funding round. A majority of the funding will go into scaling the team, product and brand.

OasisX founders envision a future where the company will continue to exploit the potential of this technology, cementing it as a web3 powerhouse from the MENA region.