Tunisia is set to witness the first Hedera Hackathon taking place from January 26th to 28th, 2024. The event is a collaborative effort between Dar Blockchain, The Hashgraph Association, ESPRIT University, and SUP’COM University. The aim of the Hackathon, backed by the Hedera Network, is to boost the adoption and understanding of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in the country.

Dar Blockchain, a pioneer in the blockchain technology space, dedicated to redefining the digital landscape toward decentralization, and The Hashgraph Association, a non-profit organization that supports training and education programs across multiple industry verticals through broad adoption of Hedera-powered, enterprise-grade solutions, have partnered with two leading universities in Tunisia to establish a platform that explores the latest in Web3 technologies. 

ESPRIT University, a distinguished institution specializing in engineering and technology, and SUP’COM, the Higher School of Communication of Tunis or Engineering School of Communication of Tunis, will utilize the Hedera Hackathon to emphasize the innovative possibilities offered by the Hedera Network.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and contribute to the transformation of industries through engaging activities and access to a specialized Web 3.0 Decentralized Academy.

Mohamed Mnif and Jaafar Saied, the Co-founders of Dar Blockchain, said: “ We are proud to be launching the first Hedera Hackathon at two reputable universities as part of our aim to set up chapters in local universities and offer training as we lay the foundation for a real understanding of DLT and blockchain. Tunisian youth and university students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to foster Web3 adoption, not only in MENA but globally.”

The Hedera Hackathon will offer tracks that include DeFi (Decentralized Finance), revolutionizing finance with accessible and secure financial services for the Tunisian and African community, DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), reimagining organizational structures for innovative university organization management and collaboration across the country, as well as tracks on the metaverse and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). 

Teams of three to five members are eligible to participate and must send in their applications no later than January 20th , 2024. At least one member of the team needs to be certified on the Hedera ecosystem.

Participants will be required to build solutions that leverage Hedera’s DLT, addressing real and current needs within the African community and showcasing practical applicability and positive impact.

At the end of the Hackathon, teams will need to submit a live and functioning project which includes a URL, a PowerPoint presentation outlining the business case and functionalities, and a three to five minute demo video demonstrating the project’s key features.

Selection criteria for the best projects will be based on relevance to the Hedera Hackathon’s themes, effective usage of the Hedera DLT Network, technical functionality, clear business case, scalability, team composition and collaboration, and effective presentation capabilities.

Kamal Youssefi, President of The Hashgraph Association, added, “Our support of the proliferation of innovative DLT solutions in the African continent is one of our key objectives. We believe that it is through the utilization of the Hedera Network and distributed ledger technology that we can empower future generations to build enhanced economies, technologies, and societies. Working with DAR Blockchain and future-driven universities such as ESPRIT, and SUP-COM is a privilege and an honor.”

In 2023 Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association signed a partnership agreement to develop blockchain in Tunisia and the African continent.

The Hashgraph Association, the non-profit organization accelerating the broad adoption of the Hedera network globally, has partnered with Dar Blockchain to nurture projects, facilitate growth, and profoundly shape the MENA technology landscape. The partnership focuses on the education and nurturing of Web3 talent within the region through facilitating meetups, hackathons, and university groups, as well as publishing a monthly podcast. Through their focus on Web3 talent, The Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain will strive to advance innovation within the region, furthering the expansion of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and blockchain across the globe.

Together, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association will work to provide insight into blockchain ecosystems, as well as promote the Hedera network, the most innovative, sustainable, enterprise-grade public ledger for the decentralized economy. To foster curiosity and capabilities within the MENA region, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association are partnering to host four hackathons, starting in October 2023.

These events are part of a broader strategy that includes community-building activities and a sourcing phase for an upcoming incubation program tailored for the North African community. This incubation program, to be announced soon, will further support and nurture promising projects emerging from these hackathons. In addition to the hackathons, the collaboration will offer bespoke training sessions, fueling the growth of communities and enterprises, while showcasing the endless possibilities of Web3.

Mohamed Mnif and Jaafar Saied the Co-founders of Dar Blockchain, said: “At Dar Blockchain, our foundation is built on the belief that education is the cornerstone of innovation. We were established with a clear vision: to support and nurture local talents while forging a vital connection between our local Web3 ecosystem and the global blockchain landscape. By providing training sessions that dive into the Hedera Network, and setting up chapters in local universities to connect students from different backgrounds, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association will lay the foundation for the true realization of DLT. This partnership underscores our commitment to empowering the next generation of innovators across the MENA region, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to drive the widespread adoption of Web3 technologies on a global scale.”

Recently, the MENA region has been a frontrunner for Web3 growth and innovation. In October 2022, it was announced that the region was home to the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets. In August 2023, the Dubai AI and Web 3.0 Campus committed to cutting license fees of Web3 and AI firms by 90% in an effort to encourage the move of companies and organizations to the city. 

Kamal Youssefi, President of The Hashgraph Association, said: “The Hashgraph Association’s partnership with Dar Blockchain will accelerate the mass adoption of DLT in the MENA region. With the favorable outlook on crypto in the region, we wish to support this growth and ensure its continued upward momentum. It is a result of this openness to Web3 that we are partnering with Dar Blockchain and committing to advance the MENA Web3 industry.”

With each event and initiative, Dar Blockchain and The Hashgraph Association hope to provide a starting point for those interested in the world of Web3. By establishing ways to support Web3 talent in MENA, The Hashgraph Association and Dar Blockchain will further advance MENA’s blockchain boom and its position as a leader in the field. More details about the collaboration can be found at: Darblockchain.io

UAE based nealthy, a Web3 startup for investing in NFTs and cryptocurrency, has raised $1.3 million in pre-seed funding. Nealthy will use these funds to grow a core team, hire talent, and boost sales & development.

nealthy offers index tokens that enable investors to enter Web3 markets quickly and worry-free. Index tokens replicate the structure of classic exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by storing multiple virtual assets, diversifying the portfolio in case of unexpected market shifts. Moreover, index tokens like nealthy’s $NFTS retain real underlying value, with $NFTS being pegged 1:1 to blue-chip NFTs.

Co-founders Ludwig Schrödl (CEO), Zied Said (CTO), and Tim Pascual (CMO) established nealthy after observing a gap in the market for diversified index tokens. With backgrounds that unite finance, data science, and a deep knowledge of virtual assets, the co-founders’ expertise will keep investors at the forefront of a rapidly expanding market.

Although the founders’ origins lie in Germany and Tunisia, nealthy is incorporated in Dubai so that investors can benefit from a world-leading, tax-friendly regulatory environment. nealthy will also incorporate in the Metaverse Zone of Anguilla to emit the token in a regulated environment.

nealthy handles transactions via blockchain technology, the decentralized Web3 network behind most cryptocurrencies. The Ethereum Net blockchain enables nealthy to openly display proof of reserve, confirming the presence of blue-chip NFTs in nealthy’s digital vault.

“This is a space with enormous potential, and with any potential comes risk,” says Zied Said, CTO of nealthy. “To counteract those risks, we maintain security by storing all assets in cold wallets and smart contracts. Each cold wallet is public and maintains completely transparent holdings.”

As the market’s first dynamic blue-chip NFT token, nealthy’s $NFTS stores the market’s ten most valuable NFT collections. Currently these collections include the likes of CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and Azuki, but because $NFTS is allocated by the market, any single NFT collection will be swapped should it drop from the top ten. No single collection will ever comprise over 25% of $NFTS’ value.

“As NFT trading markets evolve, potential investors are showing increased interest in diversification,” says Ludwig Schroedl, CEO of nealthy. “That’s even more true for first-time investors. A blue-chip index token, like $NFTS, provides superior investment opportunities at a reduced level of risk. And if we can do it with NFTs, we can do it with every asset on the blockchain.”

nealthy plans to release the $NFTS token in summer 2023.

The TRIPLE A January 2023 crypto ownership country report noted that the number of cryptocurrency users has increased since January 2022. In January 2023 there were 420 million crypto owners globally; this is up from their previous report in January 2022 where they had stated there were 300 million crypto owners globally. In the Arab world biggest growth was seen in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and even Iraq. 

More interesting is that if we compare the percentage of crypto owners in the Arab world between January 2022 and January 2023 in some countries the increase is exponential.

For example in Jan 2022 2.38% of Moroccan population owned crypto, by January 2023 this number had increased to 4.9% an increase of more than 2% in one year. The same goes for Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon were the increase was also significant.

CountryJan 2022 Crypto Ownership %Jan 2023 crypto ownership %Crypto Ownership Population 2023
Saudi Arabia1.31.6592,351

In another recent CoinGecko report, Lebanon placed first in the rankings as the country most interested in AI crypto, scoring the highest of 100 for almost all the search terms, resulting in a total score of 1,200. The 21.6% share in AI crypto search interest suggests that the Lebanese crypto community is keen to trade on trends like the pumping prices of AI tokens. Other Arab countries curious about crypto AI included UAE, followed by Kuwait and Qatar.

One can also go back to Chainalysis report in October 2022, where Middle East & North Africa (MENA) was the fastest growing region. MENA-based users received $566 billion in cryptocurrency from July 2021 to June 2022, 48% more than they received the year prior. The top three countries at that time were Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey. This is once again mirrored in the stats showcased in this article. 

Shiran Ben Abderrazak, Co-founder and of Bift crypto entity has launched MONO the first NFT micro gallery in Tunisia. The first artist to showcase her art is Lebanese- Senegalese Linda Dounia Rebeiz,

MONO is located in the heart of Tunis, Tunisia. Open to all, it stands as a mysterious portal on a very busy, old and narrow street. Inspired by a science-fiction aesthetic from the 70s, its style makes any passer-by question its utility, as its functionality is rather clashing with the hustle and bustle of its area.

MONO is a window to the eccentric world of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens). MONO invites artists from multiple mediums to exhibit their works on the screen, thereby allowing viewers to explore their artistic universe through the small portal. Through a disruptive cu-ration, the micro-gallery will be using the advantage of its location to provide to a large audience access to digital art, make it curious and trigger conversations and debates around the evolution of digital art and its accessibility.

For Mono’s opening, Senegalese-Lebanese artist, Linda Dounia Rebeiz, is exhibiting a generative piece called Bauhaus’ Puzzle. She layers AI-generated acrylic paint footage with vector-designed Bauhaus-inspired grids, as an attempt to question the grid system as a foundational image-making instrument.

Linda Dounia Rebeiz is a multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator, based in Dakar. Her work focuses on the social construction of power and the cultural implications of how it is distributed. She has exhibited work at the Tezos show at Art Basel Miami, Art X Lagos, Fort NFT Gallery, and The Museum of Newfangled Art. Her work has appeared in Vogue Singapore, Nataal, and The Art Newspaper.