Max Keisser the Bitcoin activist is at it again. Over the past months Max continues to make claims that a nation state is purchasing large amounts of Bitcoin. First, he pointed the finger at Qatar, claiming it would purchase $500 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Qatar obviously did not confirm or negate these claims; however, its central bank and government continue to prohibit the trading of cryptocurrencies noting the risky nature of these virtual assets. This has not stopped Qatar from embracing digital assets, and developing a regulatory framework as well as the digital assets Lab.

However, this has not discerned Keisser, he commented on an X (formerly twitter) post by Vivek4real that notes that an “undisclosed nation-state just bought another 100 Bitcoin. They now own 59K Bitcoin.”

Keisser comments on X that his new intelligence points to Abu Dhabi being the purchaser of Bitcoin. He states, “Just got some new intel . . .  Abu Dhabi is now the top contender.”

So now it is not Qatar but its Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.

This while still seeming farfetched, could be closer to the truth than assuming that Qatar is purchasing Bitcoin. First Abu Dhabi and the UAE in particular have been positively approaching virtual assets. Both Abu Dhabi’s ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) regulatory arm the FSRA as well as Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority (VARA) have come out with crypto regulations and have licensed crypto exchanges, and custodians.

Moreover Abu Dhabi is home to a Bitcoin mining farm co-owned and managed by Marathon Digital so it could be plausible that they are accumulating Bitcoin from revenues of the crypto mining farm. It is also the base of Phoenix Group another huge bitcoin mining investor.

So while Keisser continuously tries to allude to the fact that an rich oil country, or a country in the MENA region is buying up Bitcoin, the biggest governmental owners of Bitcoin are the United States, Britain, and Germany. They own the most Bitcoin according to Arkham Intelligence. The crypto analytics firm noted that the United States owns 212,847 Bitcoins.

What one can say for sure, is that the ownership of Bitcoin is falling more into the hands of institutional investors, and governments whether with Bitcoin ETFs or confiscated crypto.

UAE Phoenix Blockchain, crypto mining group has purchased a total of $567 million of Bitcoin mining Hardware. The group made a new Bitcoin mining hardware purchase of $187 million from Bitmain, just a few months after it purchased $380 million worth of crypto mining hardware from Whatsminer.

Prior to this Phoenix Group invested in Lyvely, a UAE-based platform poised to reshape how creators and consumers interact and monetize online acquiring 25% of the company.

The landmark purchase worth $187 million is for cutting-edge mining machines from industry giant Bitmain. This strategic acquisition comes just after its IPO on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

“This latest deal, following our successful IPO and partnerships, signals our relentless pursuit of excellence and solidifies our leadership in this dynamic space,” declared Bijan Alizadehfard, Co-Founder & Group CEO of Phoenix Group. “Partnering with titans like Bitmain and Whatsminer equips us with the best tech, fuels our growth, and redefines the future of efficient and sustainable mining.”

Phoenic Group has a  market cap of $3.95 billion as of January 4th, 2024, the Bitmain deal further amplifies Phoenix Group’s hashing power and market share.

But for Phoenix Group, it’s not just about numbers. It’s about building a better future. The company remains dedicated to green practices, integrating hydro cooling technology in collaboration with both Bitmain and Whatsminer. “Our environmental responsibility is core to our values,” emphasized Munaf Ali, Co-Founder & Group MD of Phoenix Group. “Partnerships like these, coupled with our commitment to hydro cooling, pave the way for a greener blockchain future.”

This comes as the USA and crypto enthusiasts around the world await announcements of the first Bitcoin ETFs.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran to start doing deals in Bitcoin, this is a statement made on X by no other than Max Keiser, the well-known Bitcoin influencer and the host of Keiser report, who is as well senior Bitcoin advisor to Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador.

As per Keiser’s statement, on X, “Russia, KSA, Iran will start doing deals in Bitcoin. Qatar knows this and is pulling the trigger on a huge BTC buy for their SWF (Sovereign Wealth Fund).”

This comes just days after Keiser stated that the Qatar sovereign Fund would be buying $500 billion of Bitcoin. Keiser had stated on X, “I have 1 word for you $100,000 Bitcoin God Candle fans. QATAR, the rumors are getting very loud on this. Their SWF (Sovereign Wealth Fund) rumored to looking to buy 1/2 trillion BTC (Bitcoin).”

Months prior to this Qatar was touted as discussing Bitcoin mining during the visit of HH Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar to El Salvador but nothing materialized on that front yet.

Keiser is a longtime Bitcoin advocate and educator, having advised people to buy Bitcoin since the price was $1.

With his statements Keiser seems to imply that the top GCC countries, Iran, and Russia plans to break away from the U.S. dollar and gravitate towards Bitcoin for trade.

Some would say that given that the Qatar Investment Authority founded in 2005 in October 2023, had an estimated $475 billion of assets under management would they use all that to buy Bitcoin? Qatar has not even legalized the trade of cryptocurrencies and neither has Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Russia.

In January 2023, Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud told Bloomberg that they would be interested in the credit space, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a theme of investments. In 2022 the CEO of Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund showed interest in investing in Blockchain but shunned crypto.

Could the strained relationships with the United States be pushing forward this movement towards de-dollarization in the form of utilization of Bitcoin?

Another interesting analysis could be that Qatar is actually interested in Bitcoin mining in El Salvador.  El Salvador was noted as entering a public private partnership worth $1billion to create the world’s largest Bitcoin mining farm. Volcano Energy has developed the first mining pool in El Salvador with Luxor Technology.

This according to Volcano Energy is a $1 billion Bitcoin mining project set to transform El Salvador through the development and operation of renewable energy plants. Could Qatar one of the most experienced and highly invested renewable energy country be interested in this project? Maybe just maybe yes!

Al Nawwar Investments RSC a Private Limited Company established in 2018 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, will be purchasing the remaining interest of Alameda research in Sequoia Capital venture capital firm, totaling $45 million.

Al Nawwar is an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund according to a court document has entered into an agreement to execute a sale transaction within a short period of time. Al Nawwar according to the court document is already invested as well in Sequoia.

The deal, worth $45 million, has the potential to be closed by March 31. However, it is subject to approval by the Delaware bankruptcy judge John Dorsey. The attempt to sell off its remaining interest in Sequoia Capital is a part of FTX’s attempts to liquidate its investments to pay off its debt to creditors.

This is not the first time a sovereign Fund in Abu Dhabi purchases crypto related entities. Prior to this ADQ entered into an agreement to build a crypto mining entities in UAE. In an SEC Filing dated January 27th 2022, USA based Marathon digital Holdings, a digital asset mining entity, announced that it had entered into a shareholder’s agreement with FSI ( FS Innovation), the BTC mining subsidiary of UAE ADQ a sovereign fund,  to form an Abu Dhabi, ( ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets) based company.

It is all over the news that UAE HayVN, regulated virtual asset trading platform is considering to bid for FTX Pay, FTX crypto exchange’s payment business. The reason the CEO of HayVN gives is that FTX Pay is valuable because of its relationships with establish companies such as MasterCard. Well is that a valid reason, given that most of these established companies have severed their relationships with FTX Pay, while it is actually Visa that was a partner and not MasterCard.

UAE National newspaper came out with a story that UAE HayVN regulated by ADGM is interested in purchasing FTX Pay  to integrate it with HayVN Pay infrastructure according to statements made by Christopher Flinos, co-founder and chief executive of Hayvn.

As he told the UAE National, “We are pleased to learn that some of the FTX businesses have solvent balance sheets, responsible management and valuable franchises. We are open to a discussion with their bankers, Perella Weinberg, as soon as they have the court’s approval to proceed.”

FTX Pay is an application that allows merchants to accept both cryptocurrency and fiat payments for a flat 1 per cent transaction fee with no minimum or upfront costs, according to its website.

In the interview Flinos did not disclose the amount Hayvn was willing to pay for FTX’s payments business, but said its plan to bid for the company had been approved by the Hayvn board and “back-channel discussions” had begun to indicate their interest. “It will be a public process but we want to be more ahead of the others for when that drops.”

Flinos believes FTX Pay is valuable because of its relationships with established companies such as Mastercard. He states, “From the advisers’ perspective, they want to know that the bidders have got money; tick, we have got money. They want to know that the bidders have got a good business; tick, we have got a good business, we are regulated, we have a game plan, we can value it [and] we know what it is worth to us. Because Sam Bankman-Fried had such a strong presence as an individual and was the darling of the industry, then companies like MasterCard had arrangements with FTX Pay.”

He adds “I am basically not buying it for its tech, as we have got better tech. I am buying it for the relationships that it has and the presence that it has with these people, so it is less risky.”

Hayvn Pay is a regulated financial network for blockchain-based currencies and works with UAE companies such as DAMAC Properties, developer Nakheel and the Dubai government, allowing people to buy property using cryptocurrency.  Earlier Hayvn had partnered with WooCommerce, an open source, e-commerce platform.

The CEO notes, “Acquiring FTX Pay will help solidify our position as the global leader in cryptocurrency payment solutions.”

But does HayVN know that VISA severed this relationship in the aftermath of FTX debacle and fall?

Yes, VISA had teamed up global crypto exchange FTX to offer debit cards in 40 countries with a focus on Latin America, Asia and Europe. But Visa terminated this partnership and their global agreements with FTX as well as their U.S. debit card program which is being wound down by their issuer.

Other companies have sought to distance themselves from FTX, such as BitPay.  Even Stripe removed the press release on its website that talks about its partnership with FTX for seamless payment, as has Nuvei a company that provides on and off ramp payment services to FTX users.

As for Reddit it also had a partnership with FTX to integrate Reddit’s Community Points in the US, EU, Australia, and other global markets. The partnership featured the integration of FTX Pay as a white-label payment and exchange solution to support users onboarding Community Points, but is surely now also a thing of the past.

So where are the partnerships that were forged with FTX Pay and if you purchase FTX Pay does that mean that the former partnerships come to life again? If the purchase is not for the technology, but for the relationships, severed ones, will it be so easy to revive them?

I really don’t know why HayVN whose technology is as they say better than FTX’s, and which is regulated by UAE ADGM would want to get into the position of purchasing an unregulated, bankrupt and partner less  sub entity of FTX. Beats me