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VeradiVerdict - Issue #249
Recently I traveled to the UAE and Abu Dhabi and was able to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.
The Middle East region has been linked to being plentiful of capital, being relatively more open to innovation, and being further along/more clear around crypto regulations. All of that is true but the common theme around conversations is that collaboration is key to doing business in the area.
I figured it might be helpful to share some quick insights from the trip.
Pantera has been invested into BitOasis since its seed round and coincidentally that was the last time I ventured to the region. Since then, the four most prominent local on-ramps include BitOasis, Rain, Midchains, and CoinMENA. Binance also serves the region and provides access to a wider variety of tokens.
For these on-ramps and other crypto companies, there is a path toward getting a license to operate in a compliant manner which includes easier access to banking. There are two types of licenses:
VARA (Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority) - situated in Dubai, this was established only 2 years ago but a framework for regulation of virtual assets has been created; BitOasis was the first company to receive a license recently
ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets) - situated in Abu Dhabi, a virtual assets framework has also been created and Midchains has obtained this license
Because of the progress on virtual assets regulations, quite a few entrepreneurs from mainland China and India have relocated and built a budding crypto community.
Hub 71 is a government backed startup ecosystem in Abu Dhabi where they provide grants and office space
Obtaining a work VISA is relatively fast in the region and this even applies to the Golden VISA which provides 10-year coverage
Because of regulatory, tax friendliness, and access to the government, DAOs and Foundations are starting to set up shop
Two use cases that were mentioned quite a bit:
Payments which include digital banking, e-commerce and remittances
Real world assets; with real estate booming in the region, that’s a pretty logical start
Lastly, Pantera hosted a lovely dinner with some of the top investors, regulators, and entrepreneurs in the region. Thanks to everyone at the dinner and others throughout for the insights and the hospitality.
- Paul Veradittakit
Pantera Capital Puerto Rico Management, LP and its affiliates (“Pantera”) makes investments in crypto assets and in blockchain-related companies. Pantera and/or its affiliates or personnel may be an investor in, or have relationships or other business arrangements related to, certain instruments, companies and/or projects discussed herein. This document does not contain any advertisement for Pantera’s investment advisory services, or any other services or products, whether provided by Pantera or otherwise. The information and opinions presented in this document are solely those of Paul Veradittakit; they do not represent, and should not be interpreted as representative of, the views of Pantera or any other individual working for Pantera, and do not represent investment, legal, tax, financial, or any other form of, advice or recommendations. Neither Pantera nor Mr. Veradittakit is acting, or purports to act, as an investment adviser or in a fiduciary capacity with respect to any recipient of this paper. Information contained in this document is believed to be reliable, but no representation is made regarding such information’s fairness, correctness, accuracy, reasonableness or completeness. There is no obligation to update this document or to otherwise notify a reader if any matter stated statement or information contained here changes or subsequently is shown to be inaccurate. Nothing contained herein constitutes any representation or warranty as to future performance of any financial instrument or company. Forward-looking statements should not be relied upon, and performance or outcomes may differ materially from what is contemplated herein. Opinions included here incorporate subjective judgments or may be based on incomplete information. This document does not constitute or contain an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities or a recommendation to enter into any transaction, and no reliance should be placed on this document in making investment decisions.
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Hi, I’m Paul Veradittakit, a Managing Partner at Pantera Capital, one of the oldest and largest institutional investors focused on investing in blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies. I’ve been in the industry since 2014, and the firm invests in equity, early stage token projects, and liquid cryptocurrencies on exchanges. I focus on early-stage investments and share my thoughts on what’s going on in the industry in this weekly newsletter.