How the MENA region became a leader in Web3 

Projections for 2024 anticipate that the global fintech sector's total revenue will reach $188 billion globally, highlighting this industry’s growing significance worldwide. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has become a vibrant centre for fintech and Web3 technology, fuelled by factors such as rapid digitalisation, rising interest in cryptoassets and blockchain, and a strong entrepreneurial ethos. These elements have laid the foundation for the growth of Web3 technologies, drawing in an increasing number of startups, investors, and developers keen to create decentralised solutions and innovative applications for blockchain and digital currencies.

UAE authorities adopted digital assets early; in October 2016, the most populous city in the nation, Dubai, introduced the first blockchain strategy with the goal of becoming the first blockchain-powered city by 2020. Regulators in the United Arab Emirates have led the business ever since. In 2024, the UAE stands out as a focal point for Web3 activity, benefiting from state support, favourable regulatory frameworks, and well-established venture capital ecosystems. Dubai, in particular, has positioned itself as a global hub for Web3, hosting numerous blockchain-centric events, innovation hubs, and startups. The Web3 industry in Dubai has witnessed remarkable growth, with over 1,650 blockchain organisations currently operating in the country. This expansion has been facilitated by the launch of specialised Web3 funds by venture capital firms and the establishment of regulatory bodies like the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), the world's first regulator for virtual assets.

Although Dubai is leading the charge, other Emirates, such as Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, have also begun to use digital assets. For instance, Sharjah has been investigating several blockchain applications, while Ras Al Khaimah is promoting itself as a desirable destination for blockchain companies. A new legislation pertaining to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers has been enforced by the UAE Cabinet at the federal level, thereby augmenting the sector's governance. The new law, which came into force on January 15 last year, established the main regulatory framework for virtual assets in the United Arab Emirates and aims to safeguard investors.

Beyond the Middle East, Africa is also at the forefront of the digital revolution. Among the African nations leading this charge is Nigeria, where the youthful demographic is driving momentum in the digital currency space. By 2035, Africa will see more young people joining the workforce annually than the rest of the world combined. With strategic investments in education and digital innovation, Africa's youth will likely catalyse sustainable development in the Web3 space. Furthermore, Africa's rapidly growing youth population has the potential to significantly contribute to global growth, akin to how China's young workforce once propelled the global economy. This is particularly significant as countries like China, Japan, Korea, and various European nations are witnessing a notable decline in young workers.

Nigeria's interest in digital assets is not merely a passing trend but a reflection of a generational shift towards digital financial empowerment. One of the driving factors behind the country's prominence in Bitcoin trade is the desire of young people to circumvent unreasonably high commission charges associated with transferring cash between Nigerian and foreign banking accounts. With 47% of the population owning cryptoassets, Nigeria boasts the highest digital asset ownership rate globally, according to a recent survey.

The MENA and African regions are undeniably at the forefront of the digital revolution. However, reliable solutions for transferring and exchanging assets are essential to leverage their potential and connect fully with the global market. XEROF's on-ramp/off-ramp solutions offer a reliable bridge, facilitating the exchange of cryptoassets to fiat and enabling businesses in these regions to tap into global opportunities. As these regions continue to embrace digital transactions, it's crucial to ensure efficient asset transfer mechanisms to sustain their momentum and integration into the global economy. To learn more, contact us to arrange a meeting.

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XEROF is a Swiss-licensed Crypto Gateway that offers exchange services for customers who possess crypto wallets and want to use them as fiat currency to purchase real estate properties and luxury goods.

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