Opinion Markets
January 29, 2024

MENA is Emerging as Crypto Capital of the World in 2024, claims Islamic Coin Co-Founder Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi

MENA is Emerging as Crypto Capital of the World in 2024, claims HAQQ Network Co-Founder Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has emerged as a powerful player in the global cryptocurrency economy, ranking sixth among all regions analyzed. MENA recorded a substantial on-chain value of approximately $389.8 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, according to the 2023 edition of the Geography of Cryptocurrency report from Chainalysis.

A closer examination of the countries within MENA indicates that Saudi Arabia and Dubai in UAE are strengthening their position in the global crypto and web3 landscape.

In a conversation with Metaverse Post — Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi, co-founder of HAQQ Network and Islamic Coin, delved into the dynamic landscape of web3 and blockchain in the MENA region, focusing on key players like Dubai, Saudi Arabia and other global hubs.

Islamic Coin is the native currency of the HAQQ Network and a blockchain project that is the world’s first Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency.

There is intense competition brewing up between global web3 hubs – Dubai, Hong Kong, and NYC with each offering distinct advantages, such as tax-free zones, financial infrastructure, and tech talent pool.

“This competition brings challenges and opportunities for all; it will put pressure on enhancing the competitive edge. I believe MENA can foster a responsible Web3 ecosystem. MENA can counter with its agile regulations and focus on niche markets like Halal-compliant and ethical solutions,” Mohammed AlKaff AlHashmi told Metaverse Post.

“Events like Dubai’s GITEX, Saudi Arabia’s LEAP, and Qatar’s Web Summit are fueling this rise, and these efforts have garnered attention,” he added.

Saudi Arabia is rapidly asserting its influence in the MENA Web3 market through Vision 2030 and NEOM initiatives.

AlHashmi added that the recent $50 million partnership between NEOM and Animoca Brands – a blockchain gaming company – aims to establish a dedicated hub for Web3 innovation. Additionally, the kingdom’s support for entrepreneurship and sandbox zones has led to a surge in Saudi-based Web3 startups.

MENA’s Blockchain Industry is Flourishing

Recent collaborations between traditional financial institutions and blockchain ventures in MENA, such as Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank, are driving the adoption of blockchain technology. These collaborations help enhance financial services, security and efficiency.

“The exploration of CBDCs by MENA’s central banks highlights the region’s interest in blockchain innovation,” HAQQ Network’s AlHashmi told Metaverse Post. “The growth of the blockchain industry in the MENA region is fueled by a combination of factors, including proactive government regulations, international investment influx, and collaborations between traditional financial institutions and blockchain ventures.”

“The region’s tech-savvy population, high mobile internet penetration rate, and large unbanked population further contribute to the opportunities for blockchain-based solutions, particularly in inclusive finance,” he added.

Decoding MENA’s Crypto Landscape

In the MENA region, the crypto scene is a mix of diverse regulations and the challenge to keep things clear-cut. There’s progress – think Sharia-compliant tokens and profit-sharing that align with Islamic finance.

Islamic Coin’s AlHashmi emphasized that countries like the UAE and Bahrain are stepping up with dedicated crypto regulators, strict AML laws and a move to have regional sandboxes and FinTech partnerships, all pushing for more transparent rules. Governments aim to create solid frameworks to ensure consumer safety and financial stability while ensuring the growth of crypto in the region.

Commenting on how Dubai is becoming a hotspot for crypto giants, he outlined a combination of factors, including its business-friendly environment and zero-tax incentives. Beyond financial perks, the city’s diverse and tech-savvy population adds to its allure.

“Sharia-compliant financial products, particularly in areas like short-term financing, are expected to gain traction, alongside the integration of digital assets in virtual environments and gaming, influencing trends not only within MENA but also impacting the broader global crypto landscape,” said AlHashmi.

Looking further into 2024, the convergence of decentralization with artificial intelligence and social media platforms is anticipated to surge, shaping MENA’s crypto market trajectory. Blockchain solutions addressing cross-border payments and enhancing customer engagement will lead to further innovations. 

Disclaimer

In line with the Trust Project guidelines, please note that the information provided on this page is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice. It is important to only invest what you can afford to lose and to seek independent financial advice if you have any doubts. For further information, we suggest referring to the terms and conditions as well as the help and support pages provided by the issuer or advertiser. MetaversePost is committed to accurate, unbiased reporting, but market conditions are subject to change without notice.

About The Author

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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Kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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