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The funds stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Rain were converted into Bitcoin and Ethereum to disguise their origin

Crypto exchange Rain suffers $15m hack

Rain, a cryptocurrency exchange regulated in both the UAE and Bahrain, has confirmed a serious hack resulting in losses reportedly nearing $15 million.  The exchange said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that customer funds remain secure despite the incident.  The security breach occurred on April 29 and was first detected by blockchain […]

Between 80 and 90 percent of global trade relies on trade finance, which is mostly short-term

Finance platform aims at $2.5trn trade funding hole

A blockchain-based platform that lets institutions and wealthy individuals provide finance to importers and exporters for returns of up to 9 percent a year could help fill a multi-trillion-dollar hole in international trade, it says. In trade finance, the involvement of third-party financial companies removes payment and supply risks for sellers and buyers respectively.  Historically, […]

The DIFC's Gate building. The centre's law came into force on March 8

DIFC’s law tipped to help digital assets go mainstream

The Dubai International Financial Centre has introduced a law to define and regulate digital assets – a move that should herald their integration into more parts of the economy, lawyers have told AGBI.   The DIFC legislation came into effect on March 8 and classifies the assets as property. Digitally tracked items such as cryptocurrencies, non-fungible […]

Heading to the same store or somewhere new? UAE consumers believe companies should offer tangible rewards for their loyalty

The perks and pitfalls of the UAE’s retail loyalty sector

When customers consistently fly with Emirates or buy their daily coffee at Tim Hortons, the chances are high that they are members of a loyalty programme – and companies deploy them to ensure they return to the brand. But UAE consumers are increasingly discerning about the brands and products with which they interact.  “The direct […]

Iran suffers frequent power outages and this, combined with high energy costs, presents hurdles to bitcoin miners

Energy costs push bitcoin mining in Iran underground  

Rising energy costs and onerous government regulations are forcing much of Iran’s once-blossoming bitcoin mining sector to operate clandestinely, a top industry executive has told AGBI. Bitcoin’s price surged to $46,900 in early January ahead of the launch of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US, up from a two-year low of about $15,800 in […]

Investors are expected to welcome bitcoin ETFs into their portfolios but some observers warn the cryptocurrency itself is still volatile

Gulf investors expected to bet big on bitcoin ETFs

Gulf sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors are expected to expand their portfolios to include cryptocurrencies, after spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds were given the green light. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the trading of 11 spot bitcoin ETFs, issued by global asset management companies such as BlackRock, Invesco, Grayscale, Fidelity, and Franklin. […]

Technology tech trends man laptop ChatGPT ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2023 and research firm Gartner predicts that more than 80 percent of enterprises will integrate generative AI into their applications by 2026

Gulf tech trends to watch in 2024

Technological breakthroughs in 2023 have transformed society and the world economy, but we must always look ahead. These are the cutting-edge discoveries and technologies that will define 2024. Quantum computing Quantum computing – using the principles of quantum mechanics to tackle problems too complex for traditional computers – is set to revolutionise industries.  Global tech […]

The UAE alone generates over 6.5 million tonnes of waste a year, more than three quarters of which ends up in landfills

Turning trash into tokens: blockchain’s answer to waste

Trash, garbage, detritus. Whatever you call it, the waste management industry around the world faces a huge challenge as it must handle a substantial and growing volume of rubbish. In 2020, according to the World Bank, the world generated 2.24 billion tonnes of solid waste, amounting to a footprint of 0.79 kg per person per […]

The UAE is proving attractive to blockchain companies

Tax-friendly UAE beckons blockchain businesses 

The UAE is becoming a preferred destination for blockchain technology companies, ranking third globally as a crypto centre, according to a survey. Immigration consultancy Henley & Partners used six criteria to arrive at a global ranking and placed Singapore first because of its government’s close cooperation with banks, businesses and the public in developing its […]

Shark Tank personality and investor Kevin O'Leary believes the UAE could be a crypto hub

Shark Tank’s O’Leary touts Abu Dhabi as crypto centre

Venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary believes Abu Dhabi could soon eclipse the US as the global centre of crypto innovation. While regional insiders told AGBI they agreed the UAE is set to be a significant digital assets hub, they said overtaking the US remains a tall order. In a Fox Business interview this week, O’Leary said […]

Brics Video length: 03:36

Brics expansion could hasten move away from dollar

The addition of six new countries to the Brics bloc – including some of the world’s largest oil exporters – is likely to expedite the decline in the US dollar’s prominence in global trade, according to a Dubai financial analyst. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Iran, Argentina and Ethiopia have all been accepted as members […]

The DIAC metaverse initiative is increasing its international arbitration cases, which can now be staged in its metaverse

Dubai arbitration centre aims high as caseloads surge

Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) aims to become the top global destination for settling corporate disputes after the revamped institution reported a six-fold rise in the value of cases filed there last year. Before the creation of DIAC in 2004, arbitration in the emirate was conducted mostly through a division of Dubai Chamber of Commerce […]

South Korea blockchain Abi Dhabi

Korean blockchain firm picks Abu Dhabi for global HQ

Neoply, a South Korean blockchain technology company, is to establish its global headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The firm joins Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s (Adio) Innovation Programme, which is investing AED2 billion ($545 million) in supporting the growth of tech-focused industries in the emirate.  Neoply is the blockchain arm of Neowiz Holdings, a prominent South Korean […]

US UAE trade aircraft

US electric aircraft developer lands in Abu Dhabi

A hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft developer from California is planning to set up a regional HQ in Abu Dhabi as trade deals between the Emirates and the US focus on advanced technologies. Odys Aviation has joined the UAE Ministry of Economy’s NextGen foreign direct investment programme, which aims to attract digitally enabled businesses […]

GCC healthcare

More GCC healthcare mergers likely as competition hots up

The GCC healthcare market is set to witness more mergers, acquisitions and consolidation as competition increases, say experts. As the sector continues to mature, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are bringing about a shift in care delivery that is likely to be transformative, according to Dubai-based investment banking advisory firm Alpen Capital. Its research predicts that healthcare […]

Cryptocurrency US UAE

UAE to benefit from US cryptocurrency brain drain

Tightening regulations in the US to bring cryptocurrency and digital assets operators to heel could see talent and investment turn to the UAE. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been targeting the cryptocurrency industry, which its chair Gary Gensler referred to as a “Wild West”. At the same time the UAE is welcoming […]

UAE startups and neobanks

SVB collapse may boost UAE startup business for neobanks

One thing is more certain than not in the ongoing confusion caused by last week’s Silicon Valley Bank collapse: traditional lenders in the Gulf are likely to make it even more difficult for UAE startups to open bank accounts and borrow money.  Emerging digital lenders in the region are hoping that this creates a big […]

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo, says they manage $3 billion of transactions each day

UK crypto lender Nexo to set up in Emirates

UK-based crypto lender Nexo is opening offices in the UAE as it looks to grow its Middle East business to 30 percent of its total global operations. The company, which has five million users across 200 jurisdictions, is setting up in Dubai where a workforce of 150 will be recruited, according to MD and co-founder […]