UAE leads $2.5 billion Mena Fintech market - GulfToday

UAE leads $2.5 billion Mena Fintech market


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Deputy Business Editor

The UAE is leading the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region’s Fintech market reaching a record-high of $2.5 billion by 2022.

Regional and multi-national financial institutions are rolling out digital platforms to transform customer experiences, optimize costs, and meet data regulations. As a result, Clifford Chance says Mena’s Fintech market will top $2.5 billion by 2022.

Since the launch of the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 and Dubai Blockchain Strategy, the UAE has been at the forefront of an emerging new world of decentralised smart contracts.

The Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 seeks to move 50% of government interactions to Blockchain, by 2021. The Dubai Blockchain Strategy has set itself the ambitious target of making Dubai the first city in the world to be fully powered by Blockchain.

ShoroffKhurram Shroff, Chairman of Dubai-based IBC Group, has announced an investment of $10 million.

Beyond such government initiatives, the UAE’s Fintech sector is now proactively investing in these emerging digital solutions.

Khurram Shroff, Chairman of Dubai-based IBC Group, has announced an investment of $10 million — or a stake of around 20,000 Ether — in the upcoming launch of Ethereum 2.0. The investment will be made in partnership with Canada based CanETH, an institutional-grade staking service for holders of Ether, which facilitates users participating in Ethereum 2.0.

“We are very excited by the ‘Proof of Stake’ concept proposed for the Ethereum 2.0 smart contracts and are locking up 20,000 eth which is a one way trip till phase 2, this lockup shows our confidence in ETH2 and dedication to the beacon chain”, says Khurram Shroff. “The greener ‘proof of work’ model being introduced in the version 2.0 makes it an even more attractive investment”.


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Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin set December 1st 2020 for the "Genesis" launch, which will require 16,384 validators to stake 524,288 ether into the contract - equivalent to around $230 million - for Ethereum 2.0 to go live. Staking is being seen as a preferable approach to support Blockchain networks, as opposed to the energy intensive Mining required by the previous model of Blockchain.

CanETH Pool is a Canada based staking service co-founded by Dwain Pereira, a Canadian Crypto Miner and Noman Qureshi, a Canadian Bitcoin Investor. “CanETH’s mission is to provide a simpler way for regular users to get involved with the ETH2 movement.  Our goal is to make crypto more accessible to the public” says Noman Qureshi. To commence the staking process, Buterin's "VB2" address has sent 100 transactions totaling 3,200 units, currently worth around $1.4 million. Khurram Shroff’s ‘CanETH’ address is sending three tranches totaling 21,984 units for a total of 687 validators, currently valued at around $10 million.

“The Proof of work Blockchain model uses more electricity than some countries”, adds Dwain Pereira of CanETH Pool. “These exorbitant energy costs are eventually paid using fiat currencies, which creates a downward pressure on value of the cryptocurrency. So the Proof of Stake model will be both energy efficient and more lucrative for stakers.”

“Blockchain will transform virtually all transactions,” Khurram Shroff continues. “We believe the decentralised ‘distributed consensus’ model of Ethereum 2.0 will unlock multiple avenues for growth and innovation. With environmental concerns associated with previous models of Blockchain addressed, their application will become far more widespread.”

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