MEA Fintech Weekly News: Dubai Gets Regulatory Nod for Crypto Trading

MEA Fintech Weekly News: Dubai Gets Regulatory Nod for Crypto Trading

by 26. September 2021

In last week’s MEA fintech news, it’s all eyes on crypto trading in the UAE – approvals for crypto trading at a Dubai-based free zone make their way through, while BitOasis registers on an anti-money laundering system in the country.

Meanwhile, e-payments see tailwinds in Jordan, Flutterwave moves ahead with global expansion, and Colendi raises US$30 million in a funding round.

It’s official – Dubai free zone to offer crypto trading

Crypto trading at the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) free zone will be made official, according to an announcement last week.

The UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and DWTCA signed an agreement for regulating, offering, and trading crypto assets and related financial activities at the free zone.

The agreement makes way for a framework to issue approvals and licenses for crypto-related financial activities. The SCA will oversee the issuance, offering, listing, and trading of crypto assets at the DWTCA free zone, as well as the licensing of related financial activities.

It will also have powers to supervise and inspect licensed entities.

The agreement will also see the SCA and DWTCA exchanging best practices, and providing mutual technical support.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DWTCA noted in the statement that new technologies such as non-fungible tokens would play an important role in the “future of commerce.”

“DWTCA is also pursuing ways to offer a sustainable home for this ecosystem, in order to stay future ready,” he added.

Cryptocurrencies are gathering steam in the UAE, with five in 10 UAE citizens from a recent survey saying that they intend to use crypto within the next year. Abu Dhabi has been issuing licenses for crypto trading for platforms such as BitOasis and Matrix, while Dubai-based Sarwa launched a crypto portfolio earlier this year.

MEA Fintech News Highlights

united-arab-emirates

UAE

– Abu Dhabi’s NymCard partners with Arab Financial Services (AFS) to integrate the AFS payment platform with NymCard’s open API (TradeArabia).

– UAE-headquartered VC firm Shorooq Partners launches its fifth location, a new office in Bahrain (Zawya).

– Digital retail and corporate banking challenger Zand to launch in the UAE (Fintech Futures).

– Emirates Development Bank launches SME-focused EDB Business Banking app in partnership with UAE challenger bank YAP (WAM).

– Crypto trading platform BitOasis to register with the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit’s reporting platform, GoAML (Khaleej Times).

turkey

Turkey

– Turkey-based micro lending and credit scoring startup Colendi raises US$30 million from a Series A fundraise (Fintech News Middle East).

pakistan

Pakistan

– Pakistan-based digital banking startup Tag secures largest seed funding round across South Asia (Fintech News Middle East).

qatar

Qatar

– Visa becomes an official partner of the first edition of the Arab Fintech Forum, taking place in Qatar this October (Pymnts).

bahrain

Bahrain

– Bahrain-headquartered ESG lending and investment platform Avana announces expansion to Saudi Arabia (Zawya).

jordan

Jordan

– E-payments grows 35% during H1 2021 in Jordan, while the number of e-payment dealers increases by about 50% (The Jordan Times).

egypt

Egypt

– e-finance, a state-backed digital payments platform in Egypt, to float up to 14.5% of its shares on the EGX in Q4 2021 (Daily News Egypt).

– Egypt-focused payments platform dopay fetched US$18 million in a Series A round (Fintech News Africa).

– Egyptian fintech giant Fawry picks up a minority stake in Egypt-based social commerce platform Brimore (Tech In Africa).

uganda

Uganda

– Uganda-based energy startup gnuGrid secures US$612,000 in seed funding, pivots to fintech-based business model (Disrupt Africa).

south africaSouth Africa

– AlphaCode Incubate, a ZAR 1.5 million (US$100,000) incubator programme, opens applications for South African startups (Disrupt Africa).

nigeriaNigeria

– Nigerian energy distribution and collection fintech startup Infibranches raises US$2 million from Shell-backed impact investment firm (Fintech News Africa).

Region-wide

– Fintech and banking software provider Velmie to support FX and cross-border transfers, eyes Middle East remittance market (Fintech News Middle East).

Flutterwave announces a partnership with London-headquartered payments platform Currencycloud to support expansion across Europe and the US (Fintech Futures).

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That’s it for the week. Subscribe to our Middle East and Africa newsletters to continue receiving the top MEA fintech news in your inbox.

This article was originally published on Fintech News Africa.

Featured image: edited from Unsplash

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