A new blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused association has been launched within Abu Dhabi’s free economic zone that aims to further the development of blockchain and crypto ecosystems across the Middle Eastern, North Africa, and Asian regions.
The Middle East, Africa & Asia Crypto & Blockchain Association (MEAACBA), launched last month in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), is being seen as a pivotal step forward in the development of accessible, transparent, and compliant crypto-blockchain ecosystems.
The non-profit organisation has cross-industry representation with a focus on education, coordination, and innovation for participants across the crypto and blockchain ecosystem, MEAACBA said.
Board Chairman, Jehanzeb Awan, said: “MEAACBA will bring the knowledge, connections and gravitas needed to create wide reaching benefits for this highly dynamic and exciting space. We are dedicated to educating the global community and helping all businesses succeed and thrive. This will be delivered by industry experts sharing knowledge through webinars, courses and events. The industry will benefit from the Association as it provides a coordination mechanism between regulators, government agencies, banks, legal, tax and advisory firms to address the most pressing challenges. The Association will also promote responsible innovation through its ‘Moon-shot’ lab to which all participants can contribute.”
MEAACBA has been formed with a board of highly respected industry specialists. The Association is supported by the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) the international financial centre of the UAE capital. ADGM is a free economic zone based in the center of the city that is subject to its own set of civil and commercial laws. It was originally created to help further the growth of fintech companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM commented: “Abu Dhabi, and the UAE is a leader in the development of innovative and compliant crypto and blockchain businesses, showing how these can be part of a progressive financial services sector. The decision by MEAACBA to incorporate in ADGM is clear acknowledgement of the progressive regulations ADGM has built, to enable the development of technological innovation in crypto. We look forward to working closely with MEAACBA to support the development of crypto and blockchain ecosystems. We strongly believe that the Association will positively contribute towards bolstering Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s digital economy and adoption.”
MEAACBA membership is open to all companies and individuals across the Middle East, Asia and Africa that are involved with the blockchain and crypto ecosystem. This includes but is not limited to exchanges, custodians, consulting firms, technology developers, digital asset traders and NFT/ Metaverse firms.
Board member Richard Teng, Binance Regional Head of Mena, said: “We have always said that good regulation is good for crypto, and bad regulation will be bad for all the industry. Therefore, we welcome and want to be part of initiatives like MEAACBA which look to address the difficult questions through collaboration and education. The best way forward for our industry is to be inclusive and to build trust with our users.”
Ola Doudin, CEO & Cofounder, BitOasis and a MEAACBA Board Member, commented: “The rapid growth of the crypto-blockchain sector across the Middle East, Africa and Asia has shown how important digital assets are to the future of many millions of people. Through MEAACBA we will look to provide a centre of excellence, where ideas and thinking can be exchanged to further accelerate the growth of the sector.”
Rashid Ali, co-founder and CEO of Exarta, says: “It is refreshing to see such a great adoption of crypto within the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. The region has had an explosion of investment into the crypto and web3 space, and is leading the world in the adoption of these technologies and building for the future.
“With all the activity happening in the region, it makes sense to have regulations in place to ensure activities are carried out in the right way. We have seen time and time again what could happen when there is no regulation or over site – FTX is a great example.
“It should be said that many western countries are far behind and are playing catch up. They should take a leaf out of the Mena regions’ books and ensure their regulations are up to date to accommodate this space for now and the future.”