UAE Financial centre, ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets) has announced that it will be holding the Abu Dhabi Blockchain Funds Forum on April 16th at ADGM.

The Forum will gather investors to discuss and explore opportunities in the digital finance and Blockchain landscape.

Speakers will also discuss the potential of Web3 with expert panels on investment opportunities in blockchain technology.

As per the agenda, speakers will include Alex Lipton from ADIA, John D’Agostino from Coinbase, Valerie Hawley from True Global ventures, as well as speakers from SuperScrypt, BH Digital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Galaxy Digital, Further Ventures, CoinFund and more.

Also on the table is a discussion about the future of DeFi (Decentralized Finance).

ADGM has been at the forefront of virtual asset and DLT regulation. It has also welcomed players such as IoTa, Solana, and others to its financial centre. In addition, the first national crypto exchange M2 was launched recently from ADGM.

The UAE has become a magnet for crypto, digital assets and blockchain startups and companies given its work to advance virtual asset and blockchain regulations.

UAE ADGM Academy has backed up a partnership between Hub71 and Solana Blockchain to foster innovation for real world assets projects by offering incentives, office space, regulatory support and the UAE Golden visa.

This marks a significant step towards establishing the UAE as a hub for technological advancement and blockchain innovation. The Solana Foundation, committed to the Solana ecosystem, offers valuable resources and expertise to boost the UAE’s tech community.

Leveraging Solana’s blockchain, the partnership aims to attract talent and foster solutions for real-world challenges.

Hub71, strategically located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, is also a partner in the endeavor. Its mission to provide a nurturing environment for startups and tech companies aligns perfectly with the objectives of the Solana Foundation. This environment is conducive to creativity and innovation, providing the perfect setting for Solana RWA projects to thrive.

A critical component of this partnership is the support provided by the ADGM Academy. The Academy’s role is to provide projects with premier educational resources and regulatory advice. This support is vital for navigating the complexities of blockchain technology and its applications in real-world scenarios.

On offer is the UAE Golden Visa to Solana RWA projects. This long-term visa offers entrepreneurs stability and freedom from visa concerns, allowing them to concentrate on innovation. It’s a clear signal of the UAE’s commitment to attracting and retaining top talent in the technology sector.

In a recent survey carried out by Deel, a global HR platform within the GCC and MENA region, the findings found that 51% of employees being paid in crypto prefer Ethereum

Employee cryptocurrency withdrawals within the GCC highlighted a growing level of adoption among individuals, who are now using cryptocurrencies as a viable medium for receiving employer payments. Conducting an extensive survey, Deel engaged with over 1600 employees and over 700 organizations in the UAE to gather valuable insights.

Of the 700 organizations surveyed in the UAE, 87% of employees were using crypto for salary payments. Of the 1600 employees surveyed only 8% were being paid in crypto in KSA while in Qatar it was 4.8%.

Exploring the Deel data beyond the UAE, Egypt places itself in the spotlight by a substantial margin, witnessing over 25,000 employee withdrawals using crypto in the last 12 months. Tracking Egypt’s trajectory, the roster of pioneering nations also includes Morocco, and Lebanon, each carving its path towards cryptocurrency adoption.

Notably, Ethereum (ETH) claims the top spot as the preferred cryptocurrency for withdrawals, commanding 51.2%. The US Dollar backed stablecoin USDC follows suit at 24.5%, while Bitcoin (BTC) controls 20.2% of the landscape. Solana (SOL) and Dash wrap up the top five most used cryptocurrencies with 2.5% and 1.6%, respectively, contributing to the crypto withdrawals landscape.

Tarek Salam, Head of Expansion from Deel, stated, “The Deel research provides an interesting window on the latest trends within the employment sector. It is truly great to witness the rapid surge in cryptocurrency adoption within the UAE and the wider region. The regulators have played a commendable role in encouraging greater participation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and it’s a trend that we will be watching with interest as adoption continues to grow.”

Deel is a leading global compliance and payroll solution that helps businesses hire anyone, anywhere. Deel’s technology offers unmatched payroll, HR, compliance, perks, benefits, and other capabilities needed to hire and manage a global team.

Solana Foundation, the non profit organization dedicated to Solana Blockchain adoption and security has partnered with UAE based DMCC free zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise, crypto center. Solana will offer technical and business development suport and their existing grant program.

The partnership compliments DMCC’s existing offerings and collaborations by increasing its members’ ability to develop their concepts and scale their businesses using Solana, one of the industry’s leading blockchain platforms.

Lastly, the Solana Foundation will join the DMCC Crypto Centre in delivering webinars and other educational courses on a range of important Web3 topics.

As part of this collaboration, Solana will set up a presence at the DMCC Crypto Centre to integrate with the ecosystem and collaborate with its thriving network of technology partners, exchanges, government entities, investors, incubators and accelerators, and service providers, as well as engage with the wider community of 23,000 companies operating in DMCC’s business district.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said, “Solana is one of the most prominent blockchains in the world, boasting a market capitalisation of USD 8 billion, placing it in the top 10 largest crypto projects globally. Through this landmark signing, we will provide complimentary set up and business licensing for Solana ecosystem projects whilst our members can access a world-class blockchain platform and dedicated Solana engineering teams that can take their businesses to new heights. Providing this type of supportive environment is our core philosophy for the DMCC Crypto Centre. It is through this strategy that we have developed one of the most dynamic and value-creating ecosystems for Web3 firms, offering the largest concentration of crypto, blockchain and Web3 businesses across the MENA region – and a central driver behind Dubai’s rise into the biggest global Web3 innovation hub.”

Dan Albert, Executive Director, Solana Foundation, added: “With its high density of crypto companies and pro-growth attitude, providing support to the DMCC was a natural fit as we look to tap into the abundant Web3 value in Dubai. We look forward to working with members of the Crypto Centre to onboard them to our chain, as well as introducing our existing ecosystem to DMCC so they can also scale their operations.”

The DMCC Crypto Centre is a comprehensive ecosystem for companies that develop Web3 and blockchain technologies, and associated value-added services, providing everything that crypto businesses and entrepreneurs need to set up and scale their operations.

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.