New ecosystem for digital assets set to emerge in 2020


New ecosystem for digital assets set to emerge in 2020New ecosystem for digital assets set to emerge in 2020

04 Jan 2020

Investors of digital assets are extremely optimistic that 2020 will see the emergence of a strong ecosystem in the UAE.

The most recent one was Arabian Bourse (ABX), which received in-principal approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) as a crypto asset exchange and custodian.

The bourse announced that it received a double-digit multi-million dollar investment from HBK-GoChain. The announcement completes a significant milestone in the roadmap for the creation of a fully-regulated, first-of-its-kind crypto asset exchange and custodian that focuses on global institutional and retail traders.

The ABX and HBK-GoChain ecosystem will act as a bridge, integrating the region's digital assets activity with other major digital asset centres around the world.

ABX is implementing the GMEX-powered hybrid centralised and blockchain distributed ledger technology suite. The exchange is building a fully-integrated ecosystem with well-experienced promoters to become the preferred venue for crypto assets listing, trading and associated digital custody, depository and data services.

HBK-GoChain is a blockchain company that specialises in the supply chain, e-government, central bank digital currencies, payments and financial services. Its network is the fastest Web-based protocol and client in the world at 1,300 transactions per second.

"In line with the vision of the UAE and its leaders we realised the importance of adopting next generation technologies like blockchain and digital assets," Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Chairman of HBK-GoChain, said.

"To be actively involved in these businesses and become the industry leader we invested in GoChain and followed up by investing in Arabian Bourse. These investments are very strategic to our group and we believe that Arabian Bourse with its well experienced founders is best placed to be our partners. As a definitive goal we would like to replicate this business model in other parts of the world," Al Nahyan said.

Similarly, Miami International Holdings (MIH), the parent holding company of MIAX Options, MIAX Pearl and MIAX Emeral options exchanges (the MIAX Exchange Group), and MidChains, an upcoming digital asset trading exchange based in ADGM seeking to operate under the FSRA framework, announced that MIH has agreed to purchase an equity stake in MEEG Holdings, the parent holding company of MidChains. As part of the agreement, the parties will pursue joint technology licensing and product listing opportunities internationally, including in the Middle East and Bermuda, subject to regulatory approval.

"We are always looking for new opportunities to address emerging markets, especially in the digital asset sector, and we are confident that MidChains will establish itself as one of the world's foremost digital asset trading exchanges," said Thomas P. Gallagher, chairman and CEO of MIH. "This strategic alignment will enable both MIH and MidChains the ability to provide digital asset products to customers on a global scale."

MidChains is seeking to become one of the world's first fully-regulated exchanges for digital asset trading and investing with a direct access public exchange. It expects to launch in the international financial center and free zone ADGM in mid-2020, subject to FSRA approval. Current investors in MidChains include Mubadala Investment Company, one of the world's leading sovereign wealth funds.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with such a well-recognised exchange operator as MIH," said Basil Al Askari, co-founder and CEO of MidChains. "This is a tremendous opportunity for both parties, and we look forward to working with MIH and the MIAX Exchange Group on numerous technology and digital asset product collaborations following launch."