Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Supports Cryptocurrencies via MidChains
One of the world’s 20 biggest sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Capital, announced they had invested in crypto exchange MidChains.
A digital currency trading platform will allegedly start with its work by the end of 2019 in Abu Dhabi, and it will be located in the international financial center and free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
Basil Al Askari, co-founder of MidChains, explained:
“We’re an exchange. You can think of it similar to a stock exchange, but where you’re trading equities, for us, it would be crypto. We also perform custody activities, which means we also can store, settle, and clear crypto transactions on behalf of our clients.”
Foreign stakeholders had allegedly also expressed their interest in using the trading platform of MidChains and Al Askari noted that he considers Bitcoin (BTC) to be a new investment class but not just an asset that will replace currently existing fiat currencies.
It is presumed that the deal between MidChains and Mubadala was planned for about a year now, and while they did not say what’s the exact value they confirmed it is known that the investment was a seven-figure number in US dollars.
Another MidChains’ co-founder Mohammad Al Hashemi said that Mubadala has always been a pioneer in the technology space and wants to become a pioneer in investing in new technologies as well.
Authorities in the UAE haven’t imposed any regulation for cryptocurrencies yet. And being an offshore jurisdiction, ADGM started working on their crypto asset regulatory framework last year.
However, Askari said that he is aware that, in UAE, people are comfortable with existing investment asset classes because adequate oversight is there. And it is expected that the same attitude will be observed in the crypto space as well.
He also believes that the interest of big corporations is a good sign. In this case, he referred to JP Morgan creating its own cryptocurrency as well as Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Investments recruiting crypto teams.
With, now secure, investment from Mubadala, MidChains said they will be looking for additional capital later in the year. Moreover, it is known that they have already established contacts with some investors.
The announcement of an investment from Mubadala into start-up Midchains was made just a couple of days after they published their financial results for 2018 which was not the easiest one for them.
They confirmed interest in investing in different industries. And one of them is technology where disruption “is creating the potential for value across all sectors, which is an opportunity for us to deepen our position as a major global investor.”
Let’s also not forget that a few months ago, UAE-based crypto asset exchange and custodian Arabian Bourse (ABX) – a joint venture from GMEX Group and Arshad Khan – got their initial regulatory approval from the ADGM. ABX is established in order to benefit from the city’s proactive crypto asset regulatory framework.
Another UAE-based crypto exchange BitOasis has managed to secure its preliminary approval with financial regulators earlier this year. The exchange still has to meet special technical and operational requirements. And it is expected that it can be done by the end of this year as well.
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