One year ago to date, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, (ADGM) an international financial center, based out of Abu Dhabi UAE, had announced on LinkedIn that Venom Foundation was the first licensed crypto foundation which would be building a scalable blockchain, today Venom Foundation is no longer in ADGM, but has established a new foundation in the Cayman Islands.

A year ago, ADGM was very hopeful. ADGM statement read, “Venom Foundation is set to become one of the most anticipated blockchain phenomena, enriching the ADGM community and the nation as a whole! Subject to the relevant regulatory approvals, Venom Foundation will work with ecosystem participants to ensure that such products are offered in a compliant manner within the trusted and well-regulated environment of ADGM.”

Today Venom’s announcement made on medium changes the narrative, as Venom Blockchain gears up towards its mainnet launch on March 18th 2024. The post reads, “Recently, Venom underwent a transformative phase by establishing a new foundation in the Cayman Islands. This strategic move signifies a leap forward, aligning Venom with the progressive regulatory framework of the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). By doing so, Venom reaffirms its commitment to providing secure, reliable, and innovative cryptocurrency services to its users worldwide.”

So it would seem that either ADGM dropped Venom Foundation after all the turmoil that the entity went through in the past year, or Venom Foundation dropped ADGM license, created a new foundation, and set it up in the Cayman Islands and BVI.  

Talking about turmoil, Venom Foundation was brawled in a legal battle. In July 2023, Alibek Garcia Isaev, one of the main investors in Venom Foundation, was pushed into the center of a very controversial legal entanglement which brought a lot of criticism not only to Issaev but inadvertently Venom Blockchain, and its Foundation. He was then found innocent in December 2023.

But before the final ruling, Venom had also lost one of its very early investors and executives. Mustafa Kheriba, the Executive Chairman of Venomex, a UAE regulated crypto exchange and one of the initial investors and supporters of UAE based Venom Blockchain Foundation resigned from his position at Venom Foundation. It is noteworthy that it seems the relationship between Venomex and Venom Foundation is no longer there. Venomex looks to be a standalone entity still regulated in ADGM, while on Venom Foundation website, there is no mention of Venomex anymore. What’s more Kheriba is still a registered director according to FSRA website.

In the about section of Venom Foundation on medium, the company notes that Venom is a multi-blockchain network being a basis for scalable Web3 applications in the DeFi and Global Payments markets. Venom Foundation main priority to develop and support a self-sufficient blockchain ecosystem has attracted developers to build various projects: VenomWallet (non-custodial wallet with a multisig option and ledger support), VenomScan (to access transactions history), VenomGet (an easy gateway to Venom tokens), VenomBridge (allowing the interchain transactions), VenomPools (to stake on validator nodes), Web3.World (native decentralized exchange). No Venomex exchange is listed.

So while Venom Foundation has moved on to greener pastures, so has ADGM. It launched its new DLT regulation that would allow DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) Foundations, DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) to issue tokens. Soon afterwards, IoTa Foundation received the first DLT Foundation license.

If there is one takeaway from all this, it is that the virtual assets scene is ever changing and the regulations ever growing. So while the UAE says goodbye to Venom Foundation, as it did to Hayvn, it is welcoming many others onboard.

It seems good news are in order for UAE based Venom Blockchain. Alibek Garcia Isaaev, one of the founders and main investors in Venom Blockchain has been found innocent of all civil and criminal charges. Not only that but he will be receiving close to a billion dollars in restitution. This closes a very bleak chapter in the Venom Blockchain history and it comes at the right time.

In July 2023, Alibek Garcia Isaev, was pushed into the center of a very controversial legal entanglement which brought a lot of criticism not only to Issaev but inadvertently Venom Blockchain, and its Foundation.

In the media Issaev was called a “fraudster” but now he has been cleared of all charges, and it is Ilya Kligman, a Russian banker that has been found guilty and has been sentenced to prison in the UAE. UAE court convicted Ilya Kligman for a prison term in absentia. According to news sources, “He is set to face a prison term, extradition from Germany to the UAE, and the recovery of multibillion-dollar damages he caused to numerous companies through extortion, blackmail, and obstructing their normal functioning.”

It seems Kligman fled from Russia to Germany for multiple financial crimes. He is noted to have siphoned off billions of rubles from Russia and bankrupted dozens of Russian banks.

One of the companies owned by Kligman, Papaya Ltd, registered in Malta (with partners such as Mastercard and dozens of payment projects), will be seized. Lawyers have already filed requests with law enforcement agencies in Germany, Malta, and the Czech Republic.

On the other hand, all charges against Alibek Isaev, one of the main investors in Venom, have been dropped in both civil and criminal courts. Ilya Kligman will be obligated to pay Alibek Isaev compensation amounting to $940 million. This sum represents restitution for all the damage caused and is part of the efforts to restore justice and punish unlawful actions.

After serving his prison term in the UAE and settling all compensations, Kligman will face extradition back to Russia, to face sentencing there.

This is good news, after many have noted that Venom Blockchain has been quiet with no investments being made into startups. Now the case is cleared Venom will be able to resume its activity. Venom on launching early 2023 had noted that it would be launching a $1 billion venture fund.

UAE based Venom Ventures Fund, invested $5 million in Everscale, a premier blockchain platform that aims to solve the scalability issues bogging down the Web3 industry. It also acquired a crypto exchange naming it Venomex after it received its license from ADGM in October 2022.

Earlier this month Mustafa Kheriba, the Executive Chairman of Venomex, a UAE regulated crypto exchange and one of the initial investors and supporters of UAE based Venom Blockchain Foundation resigned from his position at Venom Foundation.

However it seems that there is light at the end of the tunnel for Venom Blockchain.