UAE based MIRAI Capital Global, has made a non-binding commitment of $7 million to invest in DigiMaaya, a digital assets exchange and bank.

As per MIRAI website, MIRAI Capital Globbal aims to revolutionize global investing, in collaboration with Royal Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi. The firm is based in Ras El Khaimah UAE.

It includes the following members, Dunston Pereira (Group CEO of the Private Office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi), Pranav Jyoti (Chief Investment Officer for the Private Office of H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al-Qassimi and MD, MIRAI Capital Global) along with Vinoth Beemjee (Senior Partner and Regional Head, APAC, MIRAI Capital Global).

MIRAI Capital global has identified the massive opportunity that DigiMaaya digital assets exchange will offer. It directly addresses democratizing financial purchasing through fractional asset offerings via a comprehensive marketplace and other product mixes.

Mr. Pranav Jyoti mentioned that DigiMaaya’s innovative tech solutions use the latest technology stack, building the pillars to forward Industry 4.0 thesis via emerging tech like Blockchain, AI, Encryption and Cryptography, VR, etc.

APAC Lead and Senior Partner, MIRAI Capital, Vinoth Beemjee, additionally said, “Since DigiMaaya will allow users to benefit from its suite of services like Trading, Loans, Insurance, Tax calculator, Financial Health Card. This investment by MIRAI Capital Global is a strong bet on smart services being built by a seasoned Team.”

Utsav Dar, Founder & CEO, DigiMaaya shared his vision regarding the company and the benefit of this investment through MIRAI Capital Global, “At DigiMaaya’s core, we believe in taking care of all our stakeholders, i.e. our investors, users, employees and vendor partners. Our internal processes are aligned with our company culture and our team’s common passion fuels our drive to create a user centric, global, regulated and compliant Financial SuperApp.”

DigiMaaya digital assets exchange and bank, comprises a team of Industry leaders & Specialists with varied expertise who have aligned themselves to the vision of building DigiMaaya as a Fintech super app. This global team includes Heero Punjabi (Co-founder and CTO), Punnoose Joseph (Co-founder and Chief Technology Architect), Preet Gill (Co-founder, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications), and Dr. Chiraag Jain (Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer).

Utsav Dar emphasizes on DigiMaaya’s USPs: A 100% licensed and regulated App with robust and transparent audit mechanisms for trust building, 3-level Appellate solution across 9 languages for seamless customer support, Steady liquidity addressing a major problem in the current illiquid market, and a Transition to Web3 through informative educational series and incentivized user benefits.

UAE based IOTA ecosystem, DLT Foundation, has committed $10 million investment fund to support early-stage startups and ventures in the UAE and Africa. The funding will focus on TradeTech, TradeFinance, and tokenization solutions.

It aims to bolster a digital tradetech ecosystem in the UAE, Africa, and around the globe by advancing the roll-out of digital trade and finance solutions. The initiative builds on a recent collaboration agreement for the establishment of the TLIP organization, announced at WTO MC13.

The first investments will be shared publicly over the coming weeks and will include newly founded tradetech ventures and dedicated startup accelerator programs for startups building on IOTA.

This announcement follows the official signing of the collaboration agreement for the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP) at the WTO MC13 event. TLIP is a public global trade infrastructure initially developed by the IOTA Foundation and TradeMark Africa. The TLIP Consortium will be founded jointly by the World Economic Forum, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Trademark Africa, the Institute of Export and International Trade, and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. Together they will advance TLIP by developing a neutral governance framework and establishing TLIP as a global, public goods infrastructure for trade.

With its investment of $10 million, IOTA supports a flourishing tradetech ecosystem that advances trade digitization, and, in doing so, makes trade finance more accessible for all. The funds are earmarked for early-stage startups, accelerator programs, and pilot programs that will drive the development of digital trade infrastructure.

Dominik Schiener, Co-Founder of IOTA and Chairman of the IOTA Foundation, emphasized the strategic importance of this initiative: “By investing in the future of TradeTech, we are not just facilitating smoother trade transactions; we are laying the groundwork for a more interconnected and efficient global trade ecosystem. Our collaboration with leading organizations through the TLIP is a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence in this field.”

This initiative will be kickstarted with the launch of a public grants program over the coming weeks, followed by an accelerator program for startups in the UAE before summer and in Africa before the end of the year. These programs are designed to empower entrepreneurs and innovators who are building new trade solutions on the IOTA and TLIP infrastructure, offering them the resources and support needed to bring their visions to life.

Sygnum Bank which has a regulated digital asset bank in the UAE, alongside Hamilton Lane, and Apex Group announced a cross industry project that expands global private market access to significantly larger and more diverse groups of qualified investors using Blockchain.

Leveraging the power of the blockchain, the new DLT-registered share class automates and integrates traditionally separate fund management functions, increasing both accessibility and efficiency. The first fund to feature the new share class will be Hamilton Lane’s USD 3.8bn GPA Fund, which has an annual average performance growth of 14.6 percent and has outperformed the MSCI World Net Total Return Index (USD) by 4.44 percent since inception in 2019.

Leveraging Sygnum’s DLT solutions, the minimum investment has a significantly lower fund entry point than direct investments into traditional private markets’ evergreen funds. These DLT-registered shares will be available exclusively to Sygnum professional, institutional and corporate clients.

The unique investment opportunity is the result of a strategic, cross-industry project underway for more than a year. Hamilton Lane, a leading global private markets investment firm with over USD 900bn in assets under management and supervision, will serve as investment manager for the new offering. Apex Group, in its role as transfer agent and fund administrator (via Apex Fund Services regulated in Luxembourg), and FundRock-LRI, in its role as Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM), is leveraging Sygnum’s DLT solution to manage the on-chain share registry.

Victor Jung, Head of Digital Assets at Hamilton Lane, says “We strongly believe that tokenisation has the potential to transform the way investors gain access to the historically strong returns and performance opportunities within the private markets, and are delighted to announce this digital-native, institutional-grade offering with Sygnum and Apex. This joint initiative with the Swiss Private Wealth team underscores the region as a leading digital asset hub that we believe will serve as a catalyst for broader adoption within the banking and wealth management industry. We would like to invite the community to join us in this movement.”

Fatmire Bekiri, Sygnum Head of Tokenisation, says “The new DLT-registered share class in Hamilton Lane’s GPA Fund marks the first entry in Apex’s on-chain share register. This is a significant breakthrough in making private markets more broadly accessible and investible via DLT solutions. We are proud to join forces with other industry leaders like Hamilton Lane and Apex, and we look forward to this strategic partnership delivering a series of new and unique opportunities for investors, as well as heralding positive, blockchain-powered change for the industry.”

Bruce Jackson, CFA, Apex Group Chief of Digital Asset Funds and Business says “Hamilton Lane will raise new investor capital, while expanding direct access to their GPA Fund offering. Clients of Sygnum Bank now have access to a sophisticated alternative asset class, designed to achieve significant alpha through uncorrelated investment returns. Apex continues to meet its goal of increasing access for its clients’ alternative strategies and will continue to perfect its Framework Operating Model for the distribution of alternative asset funds using blockchain as the subscription, onboarding, operating, administration, and transfer agency platform.”

This unique investment opportunity is made possible by Sygnum’s expertise in leveraging the blockchain’s capabilities in a fully-regulated environment. Novel project aspects include the “fractionalisation” of assets to enable smaller investment entry-points, streamlined compliance, the end-to-end automation of the on-chain share registry and transfer agent activities, as well as increased levels of transparency due to the open nature of DLT. This project is built on the Polygon blockchain.

According to McKinsey5, the +300% growth of global private markets fundraising between 2009 and 2022 was due to its consistent outperformance of public markets. However, the multi-million-dollar commitments that were typically required to participate in this high-growth market have, until now, limited private markets exposure for many in the broader investment community.

Sygnum closed a $40 million round, which valued the firm at $900 million earlier this year.

UAE HAYVN investors, Deus X Capital, a $1 billion family office has agreed to buy out HAYVN digital assets infrastructure provider and appoints Richard Crook as new CEO. Deus X Capital will purchase the business brand, technology, clients and staff from other HAYVN shareholders.

The parties have agreed to the asset purchase, subject to completion.

As per the press release, the deal provides the opportunity to recapitalize and reinvigorate the business as it seeks to consolidate its presence in the Middle East, while allowing for growth globally.

In addition, Richard Crook has been appointed interim CEO of HAYVN with a focus on growing the business and realizing the global opportunities ahead of it. Ahmed Ismail, Board Member & Co-Founder of HAYVN had told LaraontheBlock that they would be appointing a new CEO in December 2023.

Crook joins HAYVN following more than 25 years in the digital assets and investment banking industries, including roles such as COO of BCB Group, the digital assets payments business, and Head of Emerging Technology at investment bank RBS after serving in senior management roles at UBS.

Tim Grant, CEO, Deus X Capital, speaking on the asset purchase stated, “HAYVN is an innovative business at the forefront of the movement to a democratized financial system. We are committed to providing institutional clients with the critical services they need to capitalize on the existing and growing opportunity in digital assets, while continuing to build and develop new capabilities. HAYVN is core to our strategy and represents another pillar of our commitment to the Middle East region.”

Richard Crook, interim CEO, HAYVN, said: “I am delighted to join a business that has already established itself as a leader in financial technology and a fundamental pillar of the digital assets ecosystem. The digital assets industry is growing at a rapid pace as it continues to converge with traditional financial services, and I look forward to ensuring that HAYVN is central to that growth as we build on our success.”

This comes after the ousting of their previous CEO under difficult circumstances.

In a recent X post by HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, he noted that the UAE government will be accelerating the adoption of technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Blockchain into the global trading system.

The Initiative called Regulation 5.0 for the Future of TradeTech and the Trade-Sustain-AI Initiative will identify key trends in trade technology and provide a blueprint for a harmonized global regulatory system to oversee their deployment.

According to Al Zeyoudi this is especially important for developing countries to avoid widening the technology gap.

Al Zeyoudi stated on X platform, “At the inaugural TradeTech Global Forum today, we launched two important initiatives that will accelerate the adoption of technologies like AI and Blockchain into the global trading system: Regulation 5.0 for the Future of TradeTech and the Trade-Sustain-AI Initiative.

He added, “Our Trade-Sustain-AI initiative will create global partnerships to oversee the development of AI-powered trade solutions that will advance sustainable practices throughout supply chains – and help promote a smarter, cleaner trading system.

The comments were made during the Abu Dhabi World Trade Organization Conference being held in Abu Dhabi between Feb 26th and 29th. The conference had metioned that decentralization of global supply chains would be on the table for the first time.

The conference witnessed that attendance of 165 nations and trading blocs. WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala noted in an interview with WAM, “We will initiate new dialogues, called deliberative sessions, where, for the first time, the ministers will engage on issues crucial to the contemporary world, including trade and environment, trade and climate change, trade and sustainability, and trade and inclusion.”

She advocated the decentralization of supply chains, expanding them to developing countries.

Moreover during the conference, Blockchain Foundation, IOTA announced its partnership with the World Economic Forum, Trademark Africa, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the Institute of Export and International Trade, and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation.

As per their press release, “Together, we are embarking on a transformative journey to revolutionize international trade through the creation of the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP). International trade has long been burdened by inefficiencies, bureaucracy, and lack of transparency. The cumbersome process of trading goods across borders involving numerous documents, multiple actors, and intricate regulations often leads to delays, errors, and even fraudulent activities. Recognizing the urgent need for a reliable and transparent digital trade infrastructure, our coalition is committed to fostering a neutral governance framework for TLIP.”

TLIP aims to streamline information exchange and promote collaboration across borders. It builds on IOTA’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) to provide data immutability and security. It performs the same function as a government stamp on a trade certificate to prove authenticity – just made digital.

Customs in destination markets will not need a stamped physical Certificate of Origin when using TLIP. However, while physical documents are subject to fraudulent risks, the TLIP system ensures transparency and immutability of the relevant details of uploaded documents.

TLIP ensures that a digital certificate is authentic and prevents it from being tampered with. IOTA also provides distributed controls, so each trade actor can manage their data and give access permission without outsourcing the permission controls to a centralized entity enabling a digital-based collaboration much like how the free market of trade works manually today.

Furthermore, using IOTA’s DLT enables parties to interact securely online without requiring a centralized platform that stores all information and is vulnerable to hacking or manipulation.

After OKX received its crypto exchange VASP license from Dubai UAE through VARA ( Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority), the crypto exchange now receives a license in Turkey. OKX TR, will provide Turkish users with a trusted, compliant and transparent gateway to crypto trading and decentralized finance. The OKX Web3 Wallet is currently available in Türkiye through OKX’s global platform.

With the launch of OKX TR, users have access to enhanced localized features, including Turkish Lira direct deposits and withdrawals from banking partners such as: Fibabanka, VakıfBank, Ziraat Bankası, İş Bankası, Şekerbank and Türkiye Finans. The OKX TR team also offers 24/7 local customer support in Turkish and English, ensuring users receive timely assistance and comprehensive guidance when needed.

Also available is OKX Wallet, a non-custodial Web3 wallet that provides access to a user-friendly self-custody portal to trade NFTs, use dApps, and more. It’s the first wallet to feature both Multi-Party Computation (MPC) technology and Account Abstraction (AA) features, which paves the way for wider adoption among less technical users.

OKX President Hong Fang said: “The official launch of OKX TR is a significant milestone in our global expansion strategy. With a crypto adoption rate close to 50%, Türkiye represents a very dynamic and promising market for the industry as it continues to develop. The population’s high level of engagement and understanding of digital assets makes it an ideal environment for OKX, and we’re strongly committed to helping continue to grow this already vibrant ecosystem.”

OKX TR Board Chairman Mehmet Çamır said: “The launch of OKX TR is a testament to our belief in the country’s huge potential for growth and our commitment to the market. Already a global leader in crypto trading, Türkiye is also in a prime position to grow in the decentralized finance space. We’re excited to support this development, and firmly believe that our presence here will play a pivotal role in nurturing Türkiye’s emergence as a Web3 innovation hub.”

In a recent press release, UAE based Fuze, digital assets infrastructure provider, has partnered with UK based Minted Connect; an FCA licensed and regulated API services platform to tokenize precious metals such as gold. Both entities will explore the tokenization of Real World Assets (RWA).

Minted Connect offers a cutting-edge API service that empowers businesses to seamlessly offer their customers access to buying, selling, transferring, and tokenizing 100% asset-backed precious metals.

Fuze is a VC-backed startup specializing in digital asset infrastructure, providing businesses in the MENA region with embedded experiences for their customers, facilitating access to innovative crypto and digital asset products through a regulatory-compliant infrastructure.

Fuze has already established partnerships with leading global and regional banks, fintech firms, financial institutions, and super apps.

The Middle East currently holds a substantial portion of the world’s above-ground gold reserves, with a staggering 1,174 tonnes securely held within the region. This represents not just wealth, but also a historical testament to the region’s deep-rooted affinity for precious metals.

Minted Connect and Fuze want to digitize of 1% of this gold, opening up unprecedented opportunities for individuals to easily save and invest in precious metals, making it accessible to all in a fractionized and digitized form.

Together, Minted Connect and Fuze are poised to transform the tokenization of Real World Assets, leveraging Minted Connect’s expertise in asset-backed precious metals and Fuze’s robust digital asset infrastructure.

This strategic partnership represents a pivotal moment for enabling businesses to tap into the value of real world assets through tokenization, providing new avenues for investment and financial inclusion.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Fuze,” said Shahid Munir, Co-Founder of Minted Connect. “This collaboration truly showcases our commitment to providing innovative and secure solutions for businesses seeking to offer asset-backed precious metals transactions to their customers. The path forward in this collaboration will be exciting for both entities, and will deliver a tangible impact on the industry.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mohammed Ali Yusuf (Mo Ali Yusuf), Co-Founder and CEO of Fuze said; “We are excited to sign this agreement with Minted Connect, who have already made significant innovations in the way people can trade precious metals. Integration with digital assets infrastructure is a game changer for businesses who want to roll out asset-backed, tokenized products to their customers in a secure and compliant manner.”

Others including Aurus believe that Precious metal owners can generate earnings on their gold and make it work for them just by holding it in tokenized form. UAE based Aurus Technologies, offered family offices the opportunity to tokenize real world assets through its sustainable tokenization as a service solution (TAAS) platform.

In 2022 UAE became the home for gold-backed token providers.

Fastex, a crypto exchange, payments gateway and ecommerce platform, has set up an office in Dubai World Trade Center, as it seeks a license from Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority (VARA). Fastex has already received initial approval from VARA.

As per the press release, Fastex chose the office because of its proximity to VARA. As stated, “This proximity enhances Fastex’s ability to work closely with the authority and expedite the licensing process as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP). In addition to the office opening, Fastex has received initial approval from VARA to conduct Broker-Dealer and Exchange operations, highlighting its commitment to regulatory compliance.”

Vardan Khachatryan, the Chief Legal Officer and Member of the Board of Directors at Fastex, stated, “Opening our new Dubai World Trade Center office is a noteworthy step in Fastex’s growth strategy. This move underscores our commitment to adhering to industry standards and maintaining high-quality service in the digital asset field. Being located in the DWTC, close to VARA and other key industry participants, positions us well to offer reliable and regulated services to our clients.”

Fastex will be participating at the AIBC Summit in Dubai UAE. They announced on X platform that they were nominated for best exchange of the year award.

This comes as DKK Partners FZE, subsidiary of DKK Partners a fintech company also announced that it has been granted an initial approval by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) for crypto brokerage dealer services.

So far more than 11 crypto exchanges have received licenses in UAE.

DKK Partners FZE, subsidiary of DKK Partners a fintech company, has announced that it has been granted an initial approval by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) for crypto brokerage dealer services.

DKK Partners FZE will continue to work towards acquiring a full Virtual Asset Service Provider crypto broker license from VARA.

The VARA initial approval allows DKK FZE to move forward in the licensing process as they look to offer corporate and institutional customers in Dubai and the UAE access to stablecoin blockchain technology, utilizing USDT and USDC.

Khalid Talukder, Co-Founder and CEO of DKK Partners, stated, “It is an incredibly exciting time for DKK in the Middle East and securing the VARA Initial approval will enable us to continue making a splash in the region. Our expansion to Dubai last year was a huge success and we’re looking to extend our influence in the market by strengthening our compliance and innovation in the Virtual Asset space. This license is a game-changer for DKK and the digital asset landscape in Dubai empowering businesses to confidently engage in blockchain technology, benefiting from the stability of stablecoins and the regulatory framework.”

Victoria Albergini, Head of Partnerships for DKK Partners FZE in Dubai added, “Since our launch last year, DKK Dubai has gone from strength to strength and is now in a prime position in the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape. The VARA initial approval enhances our ability to serve the unique needs of corporate and institutional customers.”

UAE organically incubated, digital assets custodian, Tungsten, regulated under the FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority) in ADGM is on a hiring spree.

Tungsten, according to Further Ventures, UAE Venture Capital firm, and its incubator, is a 100% UAE sovereign digital asset custodian that offers secure and regulated custody service.  It is also backed by an Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth fund.

As per Tungsten, “ We are on a mission to create the most advanced digital assets custody and treasury services for our clients, helping them to become self-sovereign organizations with strong mechanisms for access control, multi-tier and multi-factor authentication, no single points of failure, and advanced transactional risk management.”

Tungsten goes on to note, “Our offering will be insured by global underwriters, regulated exclusively by ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets), and host its core services in a Tier IV data center with 24/7 physical security.”

Tungsten is custodian of virtual assets that protects client funds from geo-political, regulatory, and cloud risk by operating a fully private physical and application infrastructure out of the most secure facilities in the world.

The website states that Tungsten goes beyond custody, their integrations span exchanges, liquidity providers, analytics, tokenization, and more, providing a holistic solution.

The company is founded by Christian Desjardins, Co-Founder and CEO , as well as Jose J. Perez Aguinaga as the Co-Founder and CTO.

Tungsten is currently hiring an assistant Manager-Deputy MLRO.

In the advert for the position it states that Tungsten, backed by an Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund has expansion plans across the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

The job advert notes, “We aim to redefine the landscape of secure, user-friendly virtual asset custody solutions. Our commitment is to unparalleled security, reliability, and ease of use, positioning Tungsten as the preferred choice for institutions managing their virtual assets.”

Tungsten is looking for Assistant Manager – Deputy MLRO, to support the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) in implementing and managing their anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) framework.

This comes as more and more Blockchain and digital asset entities launch from ADGM in UAE.

This article was updated on Feb 27th 2024. Update concerned founding members.