Blockchain for Good Alliance and Bybit Web3 affiliated to Bybit crypto exchange  have partnered to launch the SocialPlus Hackathon. This collaboration aims to foster innovation, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within the DeBox and Web3 ecosystem, leveraging the power of Blockchain and AI technology.

Bybit Web3 provides a suite of Web3 products designed to make accessing, swapping, collecting and growing Web3 assets as open and simple as possible. Its wallets, marketplaces and platforms are all backed by the security and expertise of Bybit a top three global crypto exchange,with 30 million users globally.

The SocialPlus Hackathon, a virtual event running from now until September, will provide a platform for participants to showcase their talent and actively contribute to the development of the Web3 ecosystem.

Participants can work on three tracks, including the DeBox Open Platform — Bot Market Track, DeBox Open Platform — DAPP Market Track, and the Blockchain for Good Track (BGA), and will have the chance to compete for a prize pool of up to $30,000. In addition, all finalists will receive an exclusive NFT and points rewards provided by BGA.

“As an industry leader, Bybit is committed to empowering the next generation of projects through the Blockchain for Good Alliance. Our collaboration with the SocialPlus Hackathon exemplifies our dedication to pushing boundaries and driving innovation in the Web3 ecosystem. Together with the SocialPlus Hackathon, we anticipate witnessing the creative and transformative projects that will shape the future of Web3 and contribute to a decentralized and inclusive world.” said Emily Bao, Bybit Web3 Evangelist.

For more information about the SocialPlus Hackathon and to register, visit this page.

The Hashgraph Association, a Swiss-based association and leader at the forefront of digital enablement on the Hedera network, today announces the launch of a groundbreaking Sustainability Venture Studio for Enterprises, in collaboration with Inacta Ventures, a renowned Swiss and UAE Web3 venture builder. 

Under “The Green Block” Iinitiative, a global think tank and launchpad for sustainability projects launched during COP28 in UAE, the joint Sustainability Venture Studio aims at empowering sustainable projects around the globe, leveraging the Hedera Guardian as the balance sheet of the planet that enables fair carbon markets with industry leading trust and transparency. 

The Hedera Guardian is an open-source platform that uses the Hedera distributed ledger technology (DLT) network to enable digital sustainability policies and requirements-based dMRV (Digital Measurement, Reporting, and Verification) tokenization for carbon credits and reduces fraud in the ESG market. 

The $50 million Sustainability Venture Studio will focus on enabling auditable climate finance transactions that are easily verifiable, publicly transparent, and accurate. This global co-investment sustainability program will span over the next five years, with The Hashgraph Association investing $25 million, contributing to 50%, while the remaining $25m co-investment reserved for enterprises interested in developing sustainability use cases on the Hedera Guardian.

By combining resources and specialist expertise in sustainability and Web3, this unique partnership is set to revolutionize the way sustainability projects are funded and executed around the world, ensuring a long-term positive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact.

Kamal Youssefi, President of The Hashgraph Association stated, “With The Green Block Sustainability Venture Studio, we are creating standards for reporting sustainability assets to ensure credibility and accuracy using the Hedera Guardian platform as the balance sheet of the planet, while leveraging the Hedera network as the world’s most greenest distributed ledger network.” 

He added, “We look forward to further growing the global ESG ecosystem that is being built on the Hedera Guardian, introducing certainty, credibility, and comparability of data.”

Ralf Glabischnig, Founder of Inacta Ventures, noted, “We are thrilled to integrate the Sustainability Venture Studio into The Green Block Initiative. This collaboration with The Hashgraph Association will accelerate the development and implementation of sustainable projects in The Green Block ecosystem worldwide.”

Hedera, known and proven as the greenest DLT in the market, according to the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies research paper, continues to uphold its promise of sustainability. This new venture studio focused entirely on sustainability use cases not only reflects its commitment through developing various projects but also paves the way for innovative solutions in the sustainability sector. 

Over the past months The Hashgraph Association has announced two major venture studios one in KSA, and one in Qatar. The venture studio in KSA is aimed for deep tech development, while the one in Qatar is for digital assets.

Uniramp a fiat-to-crypto aggregator, has been selected by TDeFi accelerator program, a premier Web3 incubator and accelerator in collaboration with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Elysium Chain, marking Uniramp’s strategic entry into the Middle East market.

The TDeFi accelerator program is renowned for supporting innovative Web3 startups and providing them with the resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities needed to scale. Being part of this program will enable Uniramp to leverage the extensive network and expertise of DMCC and Elysium Chain, further enhancing its growth and impact in the region.

Uniramp’s entry into the Middle East represents a significant milestone in its mission to simplify Web3 access and fiat-crypto conversions. The region’s forward-thinking approach to blockchain technology and rapidly growing market make it an ideal environment for Uniramp’s innovative solutions.

“We are incredibly excited to join the TDeFi accelerator program and begin our journey in the Middle East,” said Salman Aljohar, CEO, Uniramp. “This opportunity allows us to tap into a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and collaboration, aligning perfectly with our vision to make Web3 accessible to all.”

Through its participation in the accelerator, Uniramp aims to forge meaningful connections with key stakeholders in the Middle East’s crypto and blockchain sectors. These collaborations are expected to enhance the liquidity and accessibility of crypto assets, providing users with a seamless and user-friendly experience.

“We believe that collaboration is at the heart of growth in the blockchain industry,” Salman Aljohar continued. “By engaging with the local ecosystem, we look forward to bringing more value to our users and contributing to the region’s blockchain advancements.”

BIM Ventures, the Saudi Venture Studio, which has invested in Saudi Web3 startups such as TakaDAO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SBI Holdings to establish a $100 million joint investment fund dedicated to nurting startups and investing in the Saudi market. The collaboration was facilitated in partnership with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA).

The MoU was officially signed during the Saudi Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum in the presence of their excellencies from Saudi Arabia; the Minister of Energy, HRH Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of Culture, HH Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the Minister of Investment, HE Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, HE Eng. Abdullah Alswaha and from Japan, Ken Saito, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. In addition to representatives from the Ministry of Investment and both companies.

SBI Holdings has set up in the region and has been investing in digital asset ventures and startups. SBI Holdings entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Saudi Arabian Aramco, one of the leading energy and Chemicals Company, after SBI Holding established a digital asset venture in UAE with Standard Chartered.

In a statement to Argaam media, the company said this strategic partnership underscores the mutual commitment of Saudi Arabia and Japan to reinforce bilateral economic relations. The primary objective is to support innovative startups in the Saudi market by providing essential financial and logistical support to foster sustainable growth in this vital sector.

The fund is designed to assist startups by offering crucial funding during their establishment and growth phases. Additionally, it will provide expert guidance and mentoring to ensure the success of these emerging companies. The fund also aims to attract foreign investments into the Saudi market, creating a supportive and innovative investment environment.

Mohamed Amine Merah, Managing Partner and CEO of BIM Ventures, commented on the agreement, saying, “The partnership with SBI Holdings reflects our dedication to enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Kingdom. We aim to provide opportunities for startups to achieve growth and innovation, fostering bilateral relationships between Saudi Arabia and Japan. Our primary goal is to work with the Ministry of Investment to attract local and international partnerships, thereby positively impacting the Kingdom’s economy.”

Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO of SBI Holdings added, “SBI Group positions the Middle East as a strategically important region and plans to strengthen deployment of management resources in this region. Together with MISA and BIM, SBI Group is honored to support venture companies in Saudi Arabia and contribute to the economic growth of the Kingdom by leveraging the global network and experience in venture investment accumulated since its establishment in 1999.”

Singaporean Blockchain venture fund and Cardano accelerator, Adaverse, with offices in KSA, UAE, has strategically invested in Sorbet, a Saudi Arabian startup geared towards helping freelancers to manage and transact with clients. Sorbet uses Circle Payment services, better known as stablecoin USDC to help clients and freelancers carry out instant payments.

The investment, part of a $10 million initiative to foster venture-building in the region, aligns with the economic upswing projected for the region’s digital economy.

The MENA digital freelance market is currently values at $4 billion and while expected to grow it faces inefficient payments systems which according to the press release affects 40 million self employed workers.

Sorbet’s vision is to onboard all creatives onto web3 by removing the technical barriers traditionally associated with dApps. The tool leverages blockchain technology to provide a seamless payment solution using stablecoins.

Rami Djebari, co-founder of Sorbet, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: “Receiving support from an experienced partner like Adaverse will accelerate our development and enhance our market strategy. This collaboration is a milestone in breaking down financial barriers and enabling limitless growth opportunities for professionals in the region.”

Sorbet Beta will further refine the freelancing experience by integrating project management tools and streamlined payment processes. As per Sorbet website, it charges 2.5% when clients send money to freelancers.

Vincent Li, founding partner at Adaverse, commented on the investment stating, “Sorbet exemplifies the potential of blockchain to enrich and enhance economic systems. We are excited about the potential Sorbet holds for economic upliftment in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”

The Sorbet Beta, launching this May, will introduce essential features to improve the freelancing experience. This suite of work tools will focus on streamlining project management, simplifying payment processes, and facilitating better client interactions, all designed to help freelancers transition smoothly into a more connected and efficient digital workspace.

In March 2024, Adaverse, signed an MOU with Saudi based ASFA Ventures to drive Web3 innovation in KSA and beyond. Adaverse has also invested in Saudi Arabian Blockchain Insurtech startup TAKADAO, in addition to Nuqtah NFT marketplace.

Throughput™ , the first Saudi Arabian engineered Layer 0 Blockchain/DLT infrastructure has been launched with the aim of reshaping the Web3 and gaming industry with state-of-the-art technological solutions to developers worldwide.

Throughput™ is led by Yasser Alobaidan, with co-founders Assad Dar of MoonGaming Studio and Alvin Reyes, former Chief Architect at Protocol Labs(Filecoin).

Throughput introduced “Ledger as a Service” , a game-changing approach in blockchain technology. A single process manages multiple ledgers across blockchains offering secure and efficient management.

As per the medium post, designed ground up, Throughput™ addresses game developers’ and players’ unique needs and challenges, setting the stage for creating the world’s most engaging and sophisticated games.

Throughput™, aims to offer a robust, scalable, and secure infrastructure that caters specifically to the dynamic requirements of modern gaming. Throughput offers gamers and developers blockchain technology that easily allows them to set up their networks. It also supports the management of multiple ledgers into a single system.

In addition it allows for the sharing of a portion of transaction fees with originating wallet service providers and applications, while incorporating quantum resistant cryptography to safeguard against future threats.

Throughput also adds that it enables gamers to secure loans with digital assets while maintaining ownership and facilitates in game economies with a focus on asset ownership and exchange.

Yasser Alobaidan, Co Founder of Throughput comments, “Throughput™ is more than just technology; it’s our commitment to transforming the gaming experience. By blending cutting-edge blockchain solutions with Saudi Arabia’s vibrant talent, we’re not just creating games. We’re setting the stage for the future of gaming globally. We’re excited to lead this journey and invite everyone to join us in this revolution,”

Plans are in place to establish a dedicated hub in Saudi Arabia to nurture game development, attracting the world’s top talent to collaborate and innovate, pushing Riyadh to the forefront of Web3 advancements.

During the recent Token 2049 Dubai event, stc Bahrain, a telecom operator and digital enabler, partnered with Ava Labs to advance the progress of Web3 in the region. By launching an Avalanche Subnet as part of its Web3 Launchpad Program, stc Bahrain is striving to accelerate the adoption and expansion of blockchain across the Middle East.

Avalanche has been selected as the Qala’a Path Partner and Industry Ambassador. The Qala’a Path is named after a UNESCO heritage site, Qala’a al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort), emblem of strength and intercultural confluence. The partnership aims to build a foundation for Web3 in the region.

stc Bahrain is a subsidiary of stc group, with a brand valued at $13.9B. stc has a track record of innovation, highlighted by the initiatives of deploying the world’s largest undersea cable (linking Europe, Africa, and Asia) and the development of the region’s first integrated data center park, which covers 55,000 square meters.

Now, stc Bahrain will be using Avalanche to catalyze the region’s Web3 development.

To stc Bahrain, Avalanche stands out for its near-instant transaction finality, high throughput, and robust Subnet architecture allowing for the development of customized solutions. Subnet performance and flexibility will prove key to the sweeping initiative, as stc Bahrain’s launchpad aims to establish a regional ecosystem consisting of a range of dApps – all while maintaining high performance and security.

As an Avalanche builder, supporter, and official ambassador in MENA, stc Bahrain will spur the greater adoption of Web3 on Avalanche in the region. This will entail fostering innovation and driving community engagement via co-marketing, conferences, hackathons, and related efforts.

“We are excited to embark on this journey with Avalanche, leveraging their groundbreaking technology to elevate our Web3 infrastructure,” said Saad Odeh, Chief Wholesale Officer at stc Bahrain. “Deploying an Avalanche Subnet is a testament to our dedication to leading digital transformation and innovation in the region.”

“We are honored to align with stc Bahrain to expand Avalanche’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa,” said John Nahas, SVP of BD at Ava Labs. “Subnets have the performance and flexibility needed for stc Bahrain to cultivate a powerful Web3 ecosystem, and for the people of these regions to benefit from cutting-edge blockchain applications. This launch coincides with our larger plans for the MENA region which are upcoming.”

stc Bahrain has been forging partnerships with major Web3 and Blockchain entities with the most recent being DePin infrastructure provider Aleph Zero.

The UAE Pro League (ADNOC Pro League), the premier professional football league in the United Arab Emirates, has partnered with Chiliz, a blockchain provider for the sports and entertainment industry, to propel the league’s international presence through web3 technologies, firstly with the development of a Web3 Blockchain enabled fantasy football game.

During the first stage of this multi-year partnership that will see both parties explore a wide range of applications, Chiliz and the UAE Pro League will develop a web3-based fantasy football game, leveraging blockchain technology to offer a unique and immersive experience for fans globally.

Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to own exclusive blockchain-authenticated game-scored balls. Details on how these items will be distributed are forthcoming, with plans to ensure fair and equitable access to fans around the world.

The UAE Pro League represents the highest level of professional football in the United Arab Emirates. Featuring 14 clubs, it serves as the country’s most popular sports competition. This collaboration with Chiliz is part of the UAE Pro League’s strategic efforts to enhance fan interactions and expand its global footprint.

Thes partnership further strengthens Chiliz’s commitment to supporting football in the MENA region. By partnering with the UAE Pro League, Chiliz not only aims to bring advanced technology to the league but also to contribute to the growth and popularity of football within the UAE.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Chiliz in this multi-year agreement aiming to bring groundbreaking web3 technologies to our fans,” said UAE Pro League CEO Waleed Al Hosani.

“This partnership represents a pivotal step in our ongoing efforts to expand our global reach, setting new standards for technological innovation in the world of sports,” he added.

“The Pro League is keen on leadership in the professionalism’s world. Our partnership with Chiliz provides a new and unique experience for the fans of the ADNOC Professional League,” the UAE Pro League’s CEO noted.

“Collaborating with the UAE Pro League is a key Chiliz milestone for Chiliz as we continue to pioneer the integration of web3 technologies in football,” stated Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and “We’re committed to enhancing the fan experience through these innovative platforms and look forward to contributing to the growth and success of football in the wider region by leveraging not only our technology and expertise but also our remarkable network within the global sports industry.”

Varys Capital (“Varys”) has partnered with FundRock Investment Management Services (ME) Ltd (“FundRock”), a fund management company, licensed by the FSRA, to manage a feeder fund, that will invest its assets into a Master Fund with a mandate centered around blockchain, Web3 and infrastructure. The entity is named the Varys Capital Ventures (CEIC) Limited in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The feeder fund will invest its assets into a Master Fund (“Fund”), which was initially established as an early-stage, equity-focused venture fund with a mandate centered around blockchain innovation, Web3, and infrastructure. The Fund has identified commitments across DeFi, GameFi/Web3, Infrastructure, and Emerging Technologies, all centered around blockchain.

Varys will invest in multiple domestic companies and has entered the UAE because of the local government’s supportive directives, the country’s high level of innovation, robust local infrastructure, and forward-thinking minds. Since securing initial investment from prominent family offices, institutions, and high-net-worth investors, Varys has actively closed the gap on its $75m round.

The feeder fund’s appointed investment manager, legal counsel, fund administrator, and auditor are FundRock, Al Tamimi, Apex Fund Services (AD) Limited, and Crowe Mak LLP, respectively.

Darius Askaripour, Director of Varys Capital, said, “Due to the government’s leadership and vision, ADGM has created limitless opportunities and attracted the most brilliant and talented minds in the digital asset space. As a unique venture fund with the capacity to quantitatively execute deals, we are honoured to be a significant contributing entity in the region. We have immediate plans for deployment, adding to our high-performing portfolio and reinforcing the global appeal of the United Arab Emirates as the nation continues to expand the wide use cases of blockchain technology.”

Matthew Pykstra from FundRock, said “We are thrilled to have partnered with Varys Capital on this feeder fund and are enthusiastic about the diverse offering that the fund brings to the region”

Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM, added “We congratulate Varys and FundRock on joining hands to manage a feeder fund, here in the ‘Capital of Capital’ – Abu Dhabi. This initiative aligns with ADGM’s growth strategies for the digital assets space, focusing on progressive regulations and initiatives encompassing DeFi, Blockchain, and other related sub-clusters.

ADGM’s vibrant community includes a range of domestic companies in the new-age finance sector, and we look forward to this fund strategically bridging the investment gap for these companies that will foster significant growth within the sector and enhance overall industry development.”

UAE based Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced that it is utilizing cutting edge technologies including blockchain to develop innovative and sustainable energy solutions to provide its electricity services according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, sustainability, and quality. This is supported by an advanced infrastructure for managing facilities and services through smart and integrated systems, utilising cutting-edge technologies such as the smart grid, artificial intelligence (AI), Space-D programme, blockchain, energy storage and integration of its sources, Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing, among others.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, emphasised DEWA’s ongoing efforts and commitment to global sustainability goals, leadership in digital transformation, and spearheading clean and renewable energy projects and initiatives. These efforts are aligned with the vision of the wise leadership to enhance effective adaptation to future developments and address challenges securely and sustainably across all areas. DEWA’s preparedness reflects its strategy and unwavering efforts to achieve its vision of being a globally leading sustainable and innovative corporation committed to achieving Net-Zero by 2050.

Energy production and storage projects:

DEWA relies on pioneering initiatives and projects to diversify clean energy production sources. This includes clean and renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaic panel technology, concentrated solar energy, and green hydrogen production using solar energy, along with projects and initiatives to increase energy efficiency.

DEWA is also developing energy storage technologies through several pioneering projects, including the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will have the largest energy storage capacity in the world of 15 hours, allowing for energy availability around the clock, and the pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant in Hatta.

Smart grid:

DEWA aims to enhance its leadership in innovation, sustainability, and future shaping across all its projects and initiatives, focusing on Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and digital transformation. To achieve this goal, DEWA has developed a comprehensive strategy to implement a smart water and electricity infrastructure, known as the Smart Grid. This intelligent grid incorporates advanced features such as automated decision-making and interoperability throughout the electricity and water network.

Among the programmes launched by DEWA under the umbrella of the smart grid is an Automatic Smart Grid Restoration System (ASGR), the first of its kind in the MENA region, to increase the control, management, and monitoring of its power network. The system works around the clock without any human intervention. It uses a smart, innovative, and central system that locates the fault in the power network, isolates it, and automatically restores the service.

Smart meters

Smart meters serve as the backbone of the smart grid and play a pivotal role in driving digital transformation. They enhance operational efficiency and mitigate losses. In Dubai, all active traditional meters for electricity and water have been upgraded to smart meters. These smart meters offer numerous benefits, enabling customers to proactively and digitally manage their consumption without the need to contact DEWA. The Smart Meters Analysis and Diagnosis Centre remotely monitors the smart meters every 15 minutes. As of the end of 2023, the number of smart meters in Dubai reached 2.2 million.

Automatic Smart Grid Restoration System (ASGR):

Among the programmes launched by DEWA under the umbrella of the smart grid is an Automatic Smart Grid Restoration System (ASGR), the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, to increase the control, management, and monitoring of its power network. The system works around the clock without any human intervention. It uses a smart, innovative, and central system that locates the fault in the power network, isolates it, and automatically restores the service. This improves grid automation, fault detection and retrieval of connections.

Enhancing efficiency through Space-D

DEWA’s Space-D programme contributes to raising the development, maintenance and planning of electricity and water networks. It improves the efficiency of DEWA’s generation, transmission, and distribution divisions by monitoring solar power plants and enhancing the accuracy of generation predictions. This is achieved through forecasting weather patterns, seawater temperature and salinity, and monitoring electricity transmission lines. Additionally, it aids in detecting water leaks and identifying any changes in the infrastructure, further optimising DEWA’s operations. As part of its Space-D programme, DEWA launched two nanosatellites DEWA-SAT1 in January 2022, and DEWA-SAT2 in April 2023. DEWA is the first utility in the world to launch nanosatellites to improve its operations.

Innovative initiatives for the production, transmission, and distribution divisions:

DEWA’s initiatives for its production, transportation and distribution sectors, which rely on expertise, experiences and capabilities, contribute to enhancing DEWA’s leadership and excellence. These initiatives ensure the sustainability and preservation of resources and provide ways to develop them by applying best practices in all initiatives and projects to raise production and operational efficiency. During 2023, there were many initiatives undertaken by various divisions within DEWA, the most important of which were: Distribution Automation of Secondary Distribution Substations, Distribution Network Smart Centre, and DEWA Cable Lab.

Globally competitive results:

The seamless, swift, and effective operation of the smart grid has enabled DEWA to achieve competitive results that surpass prominent European and American companies in terms of efficiency and reliability. DEWA has reduced electricity Customer Minutes Lost (CML) in Dubai from 4.9 minutes in 2014 to 1.06 minutes in 2023, which is the lowest in the world. DEWA has also reduced losses in electricity transmission and distribution networks from 3.3% in 2014 to 2.0% last year by adopting the best international technical standards and the most accurate engineering practices in the planning, design, construction, and operation of energy systems. This percentage is also the lowest worldwide. In 2014, water network losses were at 9.1%, and reached 4.6% in 2023, which is the lowest in the world.