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Blockchain association launches in Abu Dhabi

Blockchain industry set to flourish in the Middle East
Blockchain industry set to flourish in the Middle East

Image source: IDB

Blockchain technology has been the hottest topic in the tech industry in recent years, and now it is looking to take a massive leap.

Recently, a new blockchain and crypto-focused association launched in Abu Dhabi’s free economic zone.

It aims to improve the development of blockchain and crypto ecosystems across the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.

The association

The Middle East, Africa & Asia Crypto & Blockchain Association (MEAACBA) launched days earlier in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

The ADGM is a free economic zone in the city’s center.

It is subject to its own set of civil and commercial laws.

Additionally, the zone is designed to improve the growth of fintech companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The non-profit organization aims to facilitate regulatory solutions, create commercial opportunities, and invest in education for industry growth support.


The MEAACBA is going to be spearheaded by board chairman Jehanzeb Awan, the founder of an international risk and compliance consulting firm based in Dubai.

Other supporters of the association include:

  • Richard Teng, Binance’s regional head of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
  • Stuart Isted,’s general manager of Middle East and Africa
  • Ola Doudin, the CEO of BitOasis, a cryptocurrency exchange in the region

Awan said he hopes the organization will bring a collaborative and community-based approach to further industry growth in the MENA region.

He also hopes to create wide-reaching benefits for the “highly dynamic and exciting” space.

“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,” said Awan.

In addition, Ahmad Jasim Al Zaabi, ADGM’s chairman, said that the MEAACBA’s addition would help create a more “progressive financial sector” in the region.

The launch

The MEAACBA launch comes as the FSRA published a set of “Guiding Principles” in its approach to navigating the regulatory complexities brought by the digital asset industry in November.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority is the financial regulator of ADGM’s free economic zone.

In addition, the principles are considered “crypto-friendly.”

It still complies  with the strict international standards on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CFT) by the United Nations.

Additionally, recent studies show that the MENA region is the fastest-growing cryptocurrency market.

Furthermore, between July 2021 and June 2022, the transaction volume in MENA has a 48% increase from the past twelve months, reaching $566 billion.

The use case for cryptocurrencies in emerging markets comes from savings preservation and remittance payments.

Finally, it counters inflation in unstable economies.


Middle East, Asia, and Africa blockchain association launches in Abu Dhabi

Opinions expressed by Coin Week contributors are their own.