Liminal, Singapore based and Hong Kong regulated digital asset custody wallet provider, which recently received an in principle approval for Abu Dhabi’s digital asset regulator FSRA in ADGM to operate as virtual assets custody provider, has partnered with UAE Encryptus which offer fiat off ramp solutions.

This partnership aims to help institutions to convert crypto to local currencies seamlessly. Liminal users will be able to convert their digital asset treasure into fiat currencies. Encryptus facilitates business payments in 54 countries and individual payments in 80+ countries to bank wires and mobile ewallets.

Encryptus will benefit by gaining access to a diverse client base seeking secure and compliant crypto to fiat solutions.

In parallel, Liminal can now offer extended service to its existing clients by integrating Encryptus’s off-ramp solutions, enabling direct crypto-to-fiat transfer right from their Vaults app.

Manhar Garegrat, Country Head India & Global Partnerships at Liminal said, “We are delighted to partner with Encryptus, a company that shares our commitment to security, compliance, and innovation. This collaboration will undoubtedly enhance our ability to provide cutting-edge solutions to our clients globally.”

Shantnoo Saxsena, CEO at Encryptus said, “The partnership with Liminal marks a strategic move towards offering a comprehensive fiat off-ramp solution to Liminal’s customers. Encryptus is committed to empower their partners to offer Crypto <> Fiat services in a secure and in a compliant way. We are really excited to be a part of Liminal’s ecosystem”

Liminal has operations spread across APAC MENA and Europe, along with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Abu Dhabi. Liminal provides bespoke wallet infrastructure for self-custodial businesses and provides custody services as a qualified custodian with a TCSP license in Hong Kong and an in-principle approval for its custody license from ADGM in Abu Dhabi.  

For almost a year now, as a blockchain and crypto blogger I have been reading about the Haqq Blockchain network through their press releases, and this has raised doubts about the entity and its activities. 

First doubt came with  the announcement of the large investment they claim to have raised. First it was $200 million dollars raised in August 2022 in a private sale where none of the HNWI investors were mentioned. Then almost a year later in July 2023, Haqq Blockchain/Islamic Coin announced another $200 million investment, this time stating it was from ABO Digital, a subsidiary of multi-family office Alpha Blue Ocean Group.

Looking closer at this announcement of the $200 million from ABO Digital, the information states, “The latest partnership will entail introducing Islamic Coin to the ABO network of investors and helping the team structure innovative Shariah-compliant financial products that could be used in the digital asset space to raise alternative funding. The deal provides access to a maximum of $200 million as and when required and ensures Islamic Coin has a long and stable runway.”

So the investment is available as and when required and is part of a Shariah compliant financial products offering. In the announcement, ABO Digital CEO Amine Naedjai commented, “ABO Digital is thrilled to collaborate with Islamic Coin as an alternative finance provider. This ambitious project, supported by a stellar team, is revolutionizing the Shariah-compliant market by introducing digitization. We are honored to have been selected as a partner.”

So it is an investment or a partnership to launch a product?

But what is HAQQ Blockchain? It is an EVM-equivalent chain, based on Cosmos SDK. The creators state that its Islamic Coin is a Shariah-compliant, ethics-first Islamic Coin.  They also state that the Haqq Blockchain is supervised by the HAQQ Association a Swiss based (non-profit) association funded via donations.

As for their partnership announcements they also have a lot of grandeur words and PR but nothing really practical on the ground. In April 2023, they published a press release announcing  what they called a “Significant Partnership for the Global Islamic Market” with London based DDCAP Group. In a closer look it is not a partnership yet, or even an alliance. It is an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to explore the “potential opportunities of working together”. Till now August 2023 nothing further on this front has been announced.

Then on August 10th 2023, Islamic Coin Haqq Blockchain announced what they call four significant MOUs with what they call are leading private and government affiliated services in the UAE in immigration, medical wellness and travel industries.

Looking closer at these 4 entities the significance of the MOUs fade. The first entity is MB, Speciality Medical Center, with their website showcasing exactly three doctors. As for 24 Seven Government transactions Center for immigration services, the company doesn’t even have a website and its twitter page has 74 followers!

Still two to go, the IV Wellness Lounge Clinic, is a boutique beauty clinic, and finally Middle East Holiday no information could be found on it!

So in Haqq Blockchain latest press release on these four MOUs where none of the partners are even quoted, the press release states, “MBM Specialty Medical Center, 24 Seven Government Transactions Center, IV Wellness Lounge Clinic and Middle East Holiday, in total serving millions of customers all over the world every year, have joined the Islamic Coin – Haqq partnership network.”

First look at the wording, these 4 entities serve millions of customers all over the world!!! Second they have joined Islamic Coin! It is an MOU when did MOUs become partnerships?

As for the quote in the release, “I am incredibly pleased and honored to be working together with our four incredible new partners. Today, we have brought Islamic Coin to the industries that form the core of everyone’s consumption patterns – from travel to medical care – and we look forward to continuing on the path to adoption, in the Muslim world and beyond,” commented Islamic Coin founder Mohammed AlKaff Al Hashmi.

But let us not stop just there, on reading the white paper, there are no financials, no segmentation of tokens, and no roadmap information.

Finally on the Haqq Network website it showcases 15 partners in its ecosystem of those only five are live! Yet Haqq network states on its website that it has 520,060 mainnet accounts with 10,000 transactions in last 24 hours.

Haqq Blockchain has stated that it will launch its Islamic Coin (ISLM) on the 1st of September 2023 on centralized and decentralized exchanges.

So be ready….. or Not!

Saudi Arabia is moving forward with Blockchain and Web3 with partnerships such as the one between Indian Beyond Imagination technologies, a blockchain Web3 tech company and Saudi Aba’ad Alkhayal software company Co-founded by Princess Hesah Al Saud.

With this partnership Beyond Imagination technologies will expand into the Middle East.

Aba’ad Alkhayal is a Saudi-based software company that leverages the latest technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence to help businesses thrive in the digital age.

The partnership aims  to ideate, develop, and deploy solutions that will help Middle East clients with blockchain. The move comes as part of the company’s commitment to fostering blockchain adoption and innovation across various industries in the region.

“We are thrilled to embark on this exciting journey, committed to reshaping the future of technology,” said Princess Hesah Al Saud, Co-Founder, Aba’ad Alkhayal. “With this partnership, we envision a future where we harness the power of blockchain to unlock the full potential of our economy. This new beginning will pave the way for digital transformation, creating countless employment opportunities for our citizens and empowering our students with the knowledge and skills needed to embrace this digital revolution. Thus, we aim to drive positive social impact and create a better tomorrow in Saudi Arabia through technology.”

Beyond Imagination Technologies will provide its flagship solution BitMemoir to Aba’ad Alkhayal, which will help clients with digital certifications. Users can convert personal identifiers, property documents, and other sensitive materials into digital certificates, or NFTs, and store them in their own wallets. By utilizing blockchain technology, BitMemoir enables users to own their personal documents in perpetuity.

“We are excited to bring our cutting-edge blockchain solution to the Middle East, “said Mr. Nikhil Goyal, Co-Founder – Technology, Aba’ad Alkhayal. “Our expansion into this dynamic region marks a significant milestone in our journey to revolutionize industries and empower businesses with the potential of blockchain technology. We firmly believe that blockchain has the power to reshape the future, and we are committed to being at the forefront of this transformation.”

He further added, “By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to unleash the full potential of its citizens and resources, embracing digital transformation to forge a brighter, interconnected future for all. This ambitious path includes the transformation of the Kingdom into a fully digitized society, a beacon of technological advancement and innovation. Thus, being the frontrunners in the blockchain space, we want to contribute to this aim of the nation to our full potential.”

As part of its expansion strategy, Beyond Imagination Technologies plans to establish more regional offices and collaborate with local partners to enhance its reach and support customers more effectively. By engaging with the vibrant Middle Eastern community, Beyond Imagination Technologies seeks to foster knowledge sharing, workshops, and events to promote blockchain education and awareness.

MENA based Tarabut open banking platform, which recently signed its first partnership with a crypto brokerage exchange RAIN in Bahrain, has raised $32 million in its series A, led by Pinnacle Capital. The funds will be used to bolster Tarabut’s footprint in Saudi Arabia.

Pinnacle Capital is a leading alternative investment firm that focuses on KSA investments to provide unique alternative investment opportunities. Pinnacle Capital partners have extensive transactional experience in the venture capital industry with a proven track record, including leading the first Saudi unicorn tech startup, Jahez, to a public listing. The raise also saw participation from Aljazira Capital, Visa, Tiger Global, and other leading existing investors.

Abdulla Almoayed, Founder and CEO of Tarabut Gateway, stated, “Open banking is reshaping the financial landscape in KSA and the wider Middle East, and we, at Tarabut Gateway, are proud to be at the forefront of this innovation. This fundraise reflects the potential of open banking, our advanced technology, and the trust placed in us by our partners both in KSA and globally. Tarabut Gateway’s mission is to create an open financial services sector that delivers open banking benefits to MENA’s consumers, banks, and fintechs – and the proceeds of this fundraise will help us execute our strategy and contribute to realizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious vision 2030.”

In KSA, Tarabut Gateway has achieved over 60% market coverage through partnerships with leading banks such as Alinma Bank, Arab National Bank, Saudi National Bank and Riyad Bank. The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has included Tarabut Gateway as one of the first participants in its Regulatory Sandbox, which is a key component of the open banking framework rollout.

Tarabut Gateway will also be partnering with Visa. Andrew Torre, Regional President of Visa CEMEA, said, “Next-generation digital experiences and innovation are driving the future of financial services, and open banking is a growing movement that can help consumers better access and manage finances. We look forward to partnering with Tarabut Gateway, combining our global payments network and proven local solutions with their open banking platform to allow innovative financial services across the region.”

Abdulwahab Al Betairi, Founding Partner of Pinnacle Capital, added, “We’re thrilled to be backing Tarabut Gateway’s ambitious growth plans. Their innovative approach to open banking and their strong focus on Saudi Arabia make them a perfect partner for us, and we’re excited to see them grow to new heights and contribute to the growth of the Saudi Arabian fintech space as part of the Vision 2030 strategy.” 

Prior to this announcement, Tarabut Gateway partnered with Rain. As per the announcement it would brig faster, cost effective fiat to crypto transaction to Bahrain end users and enable funding payments directly from user bank accounts without leaving Rain’s platform.

The new feature will utilize Tarabut Gateway’s open banking payment solutions to facilitate on and off-ramp (fiat-crypto-fiat) transfers for users, dramatically increasing speed and reducing errors associated with traditional bank wire transfers.

Abdulla Almoayed, Founder and CEO of Tarabut Gateway, stated at the time that crypto trading, crypto wallets and other blockchain use cases were a natural ally in opening up traditional banking and finance. He stated, “We’re delighted to unveil a solution that aims to make fiat-to-crypto transfers quicker, more secure, and cost-effective – as well as enable such funding methods directly from bank accounts. We are proud to partner with Rain to provide a user-focused approach to crypto services by bringing the advantages of open banking digital solutions.”

In less than a week apart Dubai’s DMCC has signed two major partnership agreements, the first with South Korean entities KBIPA and Seongnam City who are in the blockchain and metaverse industries, and secondly with nya Labs. Founded by a team of Stanford faculty and alumni, Enya Labs is a leading developer of decentralised infrastructure solutions, and is a core contributor to Boba Network.

With regards to the first partnerships DMCC signed MoUs with the Korea Blockchain Industry Promotion Association (KBIPA) and Seongnam City during DMCC’s Made for Trade Live roadshows in South Korea. Both MoUs seek to advance the development and application of Web3 technologies globally, including through affording growth opportunities to South Korean Web3 companies by supporting them in setting up at the DMCC Crypto Centre, and its new Gaming Centre.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “DMCC is committed to supporting high-growth sectors such as the Web3 space, and we believe that South Korean businesses will benefit greatly from setting up and scaling their operations in Dubai. The signing of these MoUs with KBIPA and Seongnam City comes at a perfect time, as we continue to accelerate our strategy of supporting businesses in these sectors. We are proud to contribute to the strong and resilient economic relations between the UAE and South Korea, which reflect the warm and friendly ties that our countries have always shared.”

Hyeong-Joo Kim, Chairman, KBIPA, said: “The United Arab Emirates represents one of the strongest economies in the MENA region, and Dubai in particular has risen as a global hub for Web3 technologies. Therefore, our partnership with DMCC comes at a strategic time to discuss business opportunities for the South Korean companies operating in the blockchain space. DMCC would certainly provide these companies with an enabling ecosystem that allows them to thrive.”

A spokesperson for Seongnam City said: “Partnering with DMCC will offer a fantastic opportunity to the many South Korean businesses operating in the area of metaverse technologies. By fostering a tighter partnership between our two countries, we are sure to enhance the global Web3 landscape for the mutual benefit of Seongnam City and Dubai.”

As for the second partnership, Boba Network is a global platform that allows blockchain and web3 businesses to build next-generation decentralized apps (dApps) with reduced transaction and computation fees and increased throughput. The platform provides an expanded set of capabilities for smart contracts on a range of blockchain networks including Ethereum, Moonbeam and Avalanche. Boba Network also offers Hybrid Compute technology, which allows developers to build dApps that can utilise ‘off-chain’ data from any web2-based system.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “The ability of the DMCC Crypto Centre to attract such high-profile and impactful players in the web3 space is a true testament to the thriving ecosystem that we have created. By bringing Boba Network into the fold, in partnership with Enya Labs, we are providing a new suite of resources for members to scale up their web3 businesses in Dubai and beyond.”

Even before the UAE and specifically Dubai release their crypto mining regulations, companies have already started operating in the country. Recently 2Bminer, crypto mining hosting center with operations in the UAE, Czech Republic, and USA, signed a partnership agreement with UAE Seed Group, a company of the Private office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum.

The announcement and the fact that 2Bminer is present in the UAE is not surprising. Prior to this, UAE-based Phoenix Technology Consultants signed a $650 million order for crypto mining rigs as part of its expansion plans in UAE and MENA region, while a UAE Sovereign wealth Fund is building one of the biggest crypto mining farms in the region under the strategic guidance of Roland Berger.

It would seem that 2BMiner is espousing its ecofriendly nature. As per 2Bminer website, their crypto mining machines mainly use hydro, wind and solar power. Sustainability is something that the UAE government is keen on. The company offers the sale of mining machines and as well as the placement of those machines in their centers and under their management. In short 2Bminer offers mining hosting services.

As per the press release, the agreement with UAE SEED group, SEED will help expand its operations in the Emirates and the wider Middle East, reach the right audience, access top decision-makers in the government as well as private sectors, and market their crypto mining products and services effectively in the region.  While 2Bminer will focus on transforming the crypto mining market of the UAE by providing the best machines, technical support, and global hosting centers to make the minting of cryptocurrencies easier and more profitable. 

Hisham Al Gurg, CEO of Seed Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, said: “As cryptocurrencies are becoming increasingly popular, people are eager to invest in them and make profits. The UAE wants to establish a crypto mining ecosystem, offering a growth-oriented environment to FinTech companies and world-class mining services to clients in the region itself. Companies offering mining equipment, hosting services, world-class facilities, and good returns to investors at globally competitive rates hold huge potential in the Emirates’ digital economy.”

Jakub Hlavenka, CEO,, said: “We are pleased to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with SEED Group. The collaboration will help propel our business interests and goals in the MENA region through the group’s support and a strong base of regional connections. We are committed to providing the best platform for crypto mining in the region.”

This is not the first agreement SEED group has signed with Blockchain and crypto entities. Over the years, UAE SEED Group has announced many such partnerships examples include Ubirch, a German blockchain cyber security specialist, DiamondBack, creators diamondbacked stablecoin, DeepDive Technology, OwlTing for Blockchain ecommerce solutions for travel services, Aergo Foundation and Blocko, Fantom Foundation and Liquefy a security token solution provider.

Of those companies, Liquefy no longer seems to exist, DiamondBack has no presence in UAE nor does it seem to be active. As for Ubirch, they are in the UAE but no major announcements have been made thus far along the lines of their activities in the UAE.

As for OwlTing, it still seems to be active in China and Asia but no activities in the MENA region. Then there is Fantom Foundation which has seen some controversy over the past year despite its strong presence at Consensys 2022 and announcements that TrustWallet now supports Fantom.  

As for DeepDive, it has built partnerships in the UAE. It is a partner of UAE Bedu which encompasses an NFT factory, and metaverse solution provider. 

So in short, while SEED has partnered over the years with several entities in the Blockchain and crypto sector we have yet to see strong hanging fruits of these partnerships on the ground in the UAE. Even though some have managed to make some inroads. The recent one with 2Bminer might be a game changer for SEED, we will just have to wait and see.