UAE’s regulatory structure draws crypto firms, Canaan’s revenue slumps, and more



Behind the wave of companies moving or deploying initiatives in the UAE is regulation. The country has introduced regulatory frameworks for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), virtual asset providers, metaverses and other Web3-related entities.

By offering regulatory clarity and a clear path to compliance — amid a crackdown in the United States — the UAE is moving closer to fulfilling what it wants to be: an international financial hub for digital assets.

While predictions about how it will affect the future of the UAE or the crypto space itself vary, history shows how countries have used regulatory gaps to build new industries or curb existing ones.

This week’s Crypto Biz also explores Canaan’s revenue challenges, Wormhole’s massive fundraising and Banco Santander’s crypto moves.

Iota launches $100 million Abu Dhabi foundation for Middle East expansion

Open-source blockchain developer Iota announced the launch of the Iota Ecosystem DLT Foundation in Abu Dhabi, which is dedicated to expanding its distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the Middle East. The new foundation will be supported by $100 million in Iota (IOTA) digital tokens, to be vested over four years. According to Iota’s co-founder, Dominik Schiener, the foundation’s main objective is to convert real-world assets into digital formats. The initiative includes the tokenization of assets to advance technology development in the region. Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, CEO of the Registration Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, said the country wants to be “the leading jurisdiction for the blockchain industry.”

Canaan secures new financing as revenue falls 55% in Q3

Bitcoin (BTC) miner Canaan is seeking new capital amid a slump in revenue and its bottom line. According to its Q3 2023 earnings report released on Nov. 28, the company seeks to sell $148 million in equity through an at-the-market offering. The day before, Canaan announced that it had reached an agreement with an undisclosed institutional investor to issue up to 125,000 preferred stock at $1,000 apiece for total proceeds of $125 million. Compared to the third quarter of 2022, the company’s revenue fell 55% to $33.3 million due to a decrease in the price of Bitcoin. Several Bitcoin miners filed for bankruptcy in 2022 due to soaring electricity costs and lower BTC prices. 

Wormhole raises $225 million at $2.5 billion valuation

Cross-chain protocol Wormhole has secured a $225-million investment at a valuation of $2.5 billion, according to an announcement on Nov. 29. The investment round was led by Brevan Howard, Coinbase Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Jump Trading, ParaFi, Dialectic, Borderless Capital and Arrington Capital. The Wormhole Foundation also announced the launch of Wormhole Labs, which the company said to be an independent technology company focused on tools and services for cross-chain development. Currently, its blockchain-to-blockchain communications technology is used to bridge assets, power oracle data feeds and transfer nonfungible tokens.

Santander appoints crypto custodian Taurus to safeguard Bitcoin, Ether: Report

Spanish financial services giant Banco Santander has reportedly selected digital asset management firm Taurus to safeguard its Swiss clients’ Bitcoin and Ether (ETH). Santander’s private banking unit rolled out a new Bitcoin and Ether trading service for clients with Swiss accounts. A Santander spokesperson told Cointelegraph that clients will get access to crypto investment services only after requesting it through relationship managers. In September, Taurus also partnered with German banking giant Deutsche Bank to provide cryptocurrency custody options to its customers.

Before you go: An archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic is seeking startups and tech talents to boost its economic growth. Web3 entrepreneurs are flocking to this region.

Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse on the business behind blockchain and crypto, delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.


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