new blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused association have been established within Abu Dhabi's free economic zone, advancing the development of cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.
The Middle East, Africa, and Asia Crypto & Blockchain Association (MEAACBA) was officially launched on November 8 in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), a free economic zone in the city's center governed by its own set of civil and commercial laws. The zone was created to support the expansion of fintech businesses in the UAE (UAE).
According to its website, the non-profit organization will strive to facilitate regulatory solutions, establish economic benefits, and invest in education to support market growth.
The association will be led by Jehanzeb Awan, the founder of an international compliance and risk consulting company based in Dubai.
Binance's regional head of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Richard Teng, Crypto.com's GM of the Middle East and Africa, Stuart Isted, and Ola Doudin, CEO of BitOasis, a cryptocurrency exchange in the region, are also promoting the association.
Awan expressed his hope that the organization will foster a participatory and community-based approach to industry growth in the MENA region, resulting in far-reaching advantages for this inspiring and dynamic space.
Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM, also mentioned that adding MEAACBA would play a part in the region's much more dynamic financial sector.
MEAACBA's establishment coincides with the publication in September of a set of "Guiding Principles" by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) — the financial regulator of ADGM's free economic zone — on its approach to navigating the regulatory challenges carried on by the digital asset industry.
The principles are said to be "crypto-friendly" while also meeting some of the United Nations' stringent international standards on anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT).
According to a recent study, the Middle East and North Africa region has the world's fastest-growing cryptocurrency market. MENA transaction volume reached $566 billion between July 2021 and June 2022, a 48% increase over the previous year.
In several of these developing markets, the use case for cryptocurrencies has taken the form of savings preservation and money transfer payments to offset the inflationary effects in completely volatile economies.
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