Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Capital, third-largest sovereign wealth fund, recently announced its investment in cryptocurrency space.
According to reports by English language newspaper Gulf News, Mubadala Investment Capital has invested in MidChains, a digital currency trading platform in Abu Dhabi.
MidChains is reportedly set to launch in late 2019. Once launched, MidChains will be located in the international financial center Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). This move comes shortly after the fund made various investments into the technology sector.
According to founders of MidChains, it has taken the two companies about a year before finalizing on the deal. Mohammad Al Hashemi, a co-founder at MidChains, was quoted by reports saying: “Mubadala has always been a pioneer in the technology space and wants to become a pioneer in investing in new technologies.”
Al Askari also added that he sees SegWitCoin (BTC) as an investment rather than a replacement for existing fiat currencies. Reportedly, foreign stakeholders have shown great interest in using MidChains’s trading platform.
This is the first time Mubadala has made investments directly into a digital asset company in the Middle East. Though Mubadala has not disclosed the exact amount it invested in this project, the fund stated that it was a seven-figure number in U.S. dollars.
Despite not having set up operations, MidChains received approval by ADGM in May. This approval will allow the platform, once launched, to operate a fully regulated crypto exchange.
In the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), cryptocurrencies have faced various challenges, unlike other parts of the world. However, Al Askari believes that regulations can play a significant role in helping the adoption of cryptocurrencies. He added:
“If I bring this down to the GCC, I think that there is a hesitation and there is a lot of white space still available. I think if investor concerns are addressed, and the chief concern being oversight … then appetite will increase in the region.”
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