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Cryptocurrency exchange MidChains bags 'seven-figure' investment from Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala

Mon, 12 Aug 2019, 09:46 am UTC

Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Capital, the 13th largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, has invested in cryptocurrency exchange MidChains, according to local media outlet Gulf News.

MidChains is a digital currency trading platform that is slated to launch later this year in Abu Dhabi. It will be located in the international financial center and free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

We’re an exchange. You can think of it similar to a stock exchange, but where you’re trading equities, for us, it would be crypto. We also perform custody activities, which means we also can store, settle, and clear crypto transactions on behalf of our clients,” MidChains’ Co-Founder Basil Al Askari, who thinks Bitcoin is more of an investment class than an alternative for existing fiat currencies, told the news outlet.

MidChains said that it took nearly a year before the partnership deal has been finalized. While the investment amount remains undisclosed, the company said it was a seven-figure number in US dollars. The recent deal marks the first instance Mubadala invested directly into a digital asset company in the Middle East.

Mubadala has always been a pioneer in the technology space and wants to become a pioneer in investing in new technologies,” MidChains Co-Founder Mohammad Al Hashemi said.

MidChains is also reportedly eyeing to raise more capital later this year. The company said several foreign stakeholders, including large institutional US investors, have expressed interest in utilizing its platform.

Meanwhile, the report noted that while authorities in the United Arab Emirates do not regulate cryptocurrencies, ADGM launched its framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities, including those undertaken by exchanges, custodians and other intermediaries last year. MidChains received the approval from ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority last May, allowing it to operate as a crypto exchange and regulated by the Authority once launched.

At the end of the day, people are comfortable with existing investment asset classes because adequate oversight is there, and we’re starting to see that adequate oversight come into the crypto space,” Askari said.

As previously reported, ADGM has also granted in-principal approval to cryptocurrency custodian Arabian Bourse (ABX), a joint venture between GMX Group and Arshad Khan, to establish and operate a fully integrated crypto-asset exchange and custodian in the UAE. ABX will implement GMEX Group’s GMEX Fusion, a hybrid centralized and blockchain distributed ledger technology solutions.

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