The UAE Central Bank announced the result of the Cop28 UAE Techsprint, where UK Blockchain solution provider ZERO13, was recognized in the category of “Innovative blockchain solutions in sustainable finance to scale up climate action. ZERO13 blockchain driven platform facilitates issuance, trading, clearing and settlements of carbon credits linked to tangible ESG (Environmental Sustainable Goals) using interoperable blockchains and APIs.

As per ZERO13 website, ZERO13 is helping to achieve Net Zero by combining AI and blockchain to restore trust in carbon credit markets, addressing green washing, double counting, price transparency, vertical silos and market fragmentation.

UAE TechSprint launched by The UAE Central Bank, COP28 presidency, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and the Emirates Institute of Finance (EIF); is a global initiative that promotes  technology innovation in scaling sustainable finance, aligned with the CBUAE’s goals to drive digitalization, advanced technologies, and sustainability in the financial sector.

COP28 UAE TechSprint attracted 126 proposals from across 31 countries, engaging participation of financial innovators and developers from around the world. Following the submissions of proposals, 15 finalist teams were shortlisted and presented their prototypes to an independent panel of judges who selected the best solution in each of the three categories below.

Other winners included Intensel, from Hong Kong,  which was recognized in the category of “Innovative artificial intelligence solution to scale up sustainable finance and climate action” with their climate analytics platform that leverages artificial intelligence, satellite imagery and climate and financial models to measure and translate climate hazards into financial risk at the asset level.

In addition to  Evercomm, from Singapore, which was recognized in the category of “Innovative IoT and sensor technology solutions in sustainable finance to scale up climate action” with their IoT-powered digital emission disclosures and verification for industrial emission reduction strategies supporting compliance and sustainability-linked financing.

The teams behind these solutions along with the shortlisted participants will each be eligible to receiving an award to help them fund further development.

His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, said: “Effectively managing climate change demands finance that is both easily attainable, accessible, and economically feasible. I congratulate the teams behind these technological solutions aimed at fostering sustainable finance standards and instruments. These innovations have the capacity to enhance investor trust and more effectively channel capital to those most in need. COP28 remains steadfast in collaborating with its partners to implement tangible solutions, accelerating the expansion of climate action and expediting global initiatives for sustainable finance.”

His Excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE and Chairman of EIF, said: “The COP28 UAE TechSprint highlighted the crucial role of advanced technology innovations in sustainable finance to contribute to a more sustainable future. The initiative has brought to the fore innovative solutions from around the world that can be deployed to drive progress in scaling sustainable finance in line with CBUAE’s strategy with an emphasis on advancing digitalization, innovations, and sustainability in the financial sector. On behalf of the CBUAE, I am pleased to congratulate the participants for their innovative solutions and look forward to the impact of pioneering technological solutions to scale up sustainable finance.”

Recently Recap, a crypto tracking and capital gains solution provider, published its report under the title ‘Which Cities are leading the way in cryptocurrency’.  50 cities were put in the report.

As per the report Recap scored these cities based on the following criteria. The first was quality of life score; personally I don’t see how crypto is related to quality of life. For me the most popular crypto enthusiasts and users are usually from cities and countries which have the most unbanked population or live in countries where the financial and economic situation is not that impressive. Examples include Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and others, all by the way not even mentioned in the report.

Their second criterion was crypto specific events! Wow this was a first for me, so if a city carries out a lot of crypto events then automatically it becomes a city leading the way in cryptocurrency. This was actually one of the biggest reasons Kuwait was put on the list, coming in at 16th place, because it had 64 crypto related events!! The funniest thing is that UAE was mentioned as only having 20 crypto events! I mean who are we kidding, even CZ from Binance tweeted the other day that UAE has a crypto event every day! This means that there are 365 crypto events in UAE not 20. Both stretch the truth a bit, but all can agree that the number of blockchain and crypto events in UAE definitely surpass that of Kuwait.

But please let’s not stop there, the third criteria was people working in crypto related jobs! I really don’t know how they even reached that number, but let’s dig into their numbers, so first they mention that London in the UK has the most crypto related job over 2000, while Dubai in UAE has 869 to be exact! But Japan top three crypto cities only have a total of 14 people working in crypto jobs! I mean seriously! While Jeddah in Saudi Arabia has 24 people working in crypto related jobs and believe it or not Kuwait city has 7!

Can someone tell me where is Bahrain in all of this? Bahrain which has Binance, CoinMENA, Rain, crypto payments and an ATM or two? Bahrain were crypto growth has skyrocketed.

Even If were naïve enough to believe this, given that both Kuwait and KSA have not even started to regulate crypto how is that possible, and how can Japan which was considered one of the most advanced countries in crypto and blockchain only 14 people working in crypto in its top three cities?!

But Alas comes the number of crypto companies. So please bear with me. In Dubai UAE, there are 867 people working in crypto related jobs and there are 772 crypto companies in Dubai UAE. Amazingly that would mean that there is almost 1.2 employees working across these 772 crypto companies. Even UAE Based crypto Oasis has calculated that there are 1,600 blockchain and crypto related entities in the UAE.

Skipping down to the most interesting part, the ownership of crypto in each country,. According to Recap 34 percent of the population living in UAE own crypto, how is that possible when UAE was the number third country in MENA in terms of crypto movement into the country as per Chainalysis. What’s even funnier is Kuwait which took 16th position beating KSA, Recap has 0 percent of people owning crypto in Kuwait! You read it right zero percent of people in Kuwait own crypto but they all go to the 65 crypto events happening in the Kuwait city! Surprisingly Saudi Arabia has 20 percent ownership of crypto among its population but comes in at number 22!

Anyhow I will stop here. To go any further with analyzing their data would be a waste of time! I am not contending that Dubai is not the number two city in the world leading crypto, but I would not use Recap report to make that point! The whole report is nonsensical. 

But what really bothers me, is that a lot of media actually published and picked up this report and used their data. Where is the world coming to?!

UAE Mubadala Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala, is sponsoring for the first time a crypto event in the United Kingdom. Mubadala Capital, global asset managers with a presence in Abu Dhabi UAE, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, and San Francisco, manages over $16 billion worth of assets.

Mubadala Capital is participating as a bronze sponsor at the Token 2049 event in London. While Mubadala Capital commenced operations in November 2021 as a subsidiary, it had been investing for over a decade. The wholly owned asset management is focused on investing in disruptive technologies.

The company had grown significantly in scale over the past decade, with $9 billion in third-party capital vehicles on behalf of over 50 institutional investors.

While Mubadala Capital has a strong portfolio of investments in companies across the sports media and entertainment sector including EMI Music Publishing, Endeavour Group Holdings, Reigning Champs, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES Network), it has not announced investments in the crypto or blockchain ecosystem.   It has acquired Canada Cartage, a leading logistics platform, as well as invested in Australian company SX Global which is set to promote the next FIM super cross World Championship, but nothing pertaining to blockchain or crypto that was made public. 

It also recently closed its first Fund in Brazil, under the name the Brazil Opportunities Fund I, with a total commitment of $322 million and in August 2021 it also closed a $1.6 billion third party equity fund focused on investing in media, sports, consumer and food services across North America and Europe.

Mubadala Capital has even invested $72.5 million in a Series A round in Pretzel Therapeutics which is developing a suite of first in class therapies that can correct mitochondrial DNA mutations, modulate mitochondrial DNA expression, and improve mitochondrial quality control.

It seems that their sponsorship of Token 2049, Europe’s crypto event, being held on the 9th-10th of November might be the first step in the direction of crypto and blockchain ecosystem.

TOKEN2049 is organized annually in London and Singapore, where founders and executives of the leading Web3 companies share their view on the market. It will have more than 150 speakers and 3000 attendees.

There were some statements made by the CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala, that showed signs that they were starting to look into the crypto ecosystem and already investing in blockchain.

CEO and Managing Director Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in an interview with CNBC back in 2021, “I think it (crypto) is real. This is a business that had $200 billion worth of value two years ago, and is $2.5 trillion value today and growing. So while many people are sceptics, I do not fall in that category.”

He added at the time, “The evolving regulatory environment will help crypto transition into something new. We are investing in the ecosystem around crypto, be it blockchain, energy usage.”

It is noteworthy that Mubadala was one of the investors in virtual asset exchange out of Abu Dhabi called Midchains.

Companies participating at Token 2049 include, Aave, Tezos, Tether, The Sandbox metaverse, BitMex exchange, Sygnum Digital bank, Elrond, Skale and so many more.

So could this be the start of a new journey for Mubadala Capital into the crypto, metaverse and blockchain space? It just might be and it would not be that surprising given the investments and funds targeting crypto and its ecosystem in the region.

The MENA region is witnessing more and more venture capitalist funds investing in crypto and blockchain entities, with names such as Cypher Capital, OasisX part of CryptoOasis ecosystem, Ghaf Capital, Shorooq Partners and even Investcorp launching funds focused on crypto, and Blockchain.

In addition, UAE artificial intelligence firm G42, which Mubadala is an investor in, launched a $10 billion fund to invest in late-stage technology companies. The fund is targeting a broad spectrum of technologies.

Even Canadian businessman, Kevin O’ Leary, nicknamed “Mr. Wonderful”, an advocate of cryptocurrency recently announced that he is now a UAE citizen because he wants to work freely in a region that has attracted investment by some of crypto’s heaviest hitters, including FTX, Binance and He also announced the launch of a Web3.0 investment fund called Cipher with the lead investor coming from the UAE.

So we might be reading about Mubadala Capital’s latest investment in crypto, blockchain or both sooner than we think.