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Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth Fund Invests in Cryptocurrency Exchange

The world’s thirteenth largest sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Capital, has made an investment in cryptocurrency exchange MidChains.

As UAE English language newspaper Gulf News reported on Aug. 11, Mubadala Investment Capital has invested in MidChains, a digital currency trading platform set to launch in late 2019 in Abu Dhabi. The exchange will be located in the international financial center and free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Commenting on the investment, Basil Al Askari, co-founder of MidChains, told the Gulf News:

“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.”

According to the company, foreign stakeholders have already expressed interest in using MidChain’s trading platform. Al Askari also said that he sees Bitcoin (BTC) as a new investment class rather than a replacement for existing fiat currencies.

Earlier this year, ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority authorized MidChain to operate a cryptocurrency exchange. This purportedly means that once launched, the platform will be fully regulated by the authority.

In June, UAE-based crypto asset exchange and custodian Arabian Bourse (ABX) — a joint venture from GMEX Group and Arshad Khan — received initial regulatory approval from the ADGM. ABX is to be based in the Abu Dhabi Global Market Authorities Building — reportedly in order to benefit from the city’s proactive crypto asset regulatory framework.

BitOasis — another UAE-based crypto exchange — secured preliminary approval with financial regulators in April. To get a license, the exchange has to meet specific technical and operational requirements, which it expects to do in the second half of the year.

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