Will crypto and blockchain exchanges explore new countries this year? Both Binance and Ripple have shown interest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, due to lax regulations in the fintech market among other reasons, AMB Crypto writes.
The value of remittance networks
Another reason Ripple is looking to the MENA region is the value of its remittance networks. An example of this is its partnership with Pyypl to spread ODL (On Demand Liquidity) in the Middle East. Her office is in another Dubai. According to Ripple data, Saudi Arabia and the UAE together issued about $78 billion in remittances in 2020. What’s more, the MENA region has two of the three largest remittance corridors in the world.
According to a blog by Ripple:
Ripple was the first company to take advantage of cryptocurrency to tackle the trillion-dollar challenge through cross-border payments. With ODL, financial institutions and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can now leverage pre-caught, pre-funded capital to grow and scale their businesses.
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However, it should be noted that XRP will not be held in the UAE and the UAE dirham will not be part of the payment stream.
Binance is looking at the head office in Dubai
At the end of last year, Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Dubai World Trade Center Authority to launch an “industrial hub.”
Binance and Ripple are both facing legal problems in the US. Are they looking to expand into the Middle East, and where will they focus their efforts?
Increasing the flow of venture capital funding to Saudi FinTech
According to data from Arab News, more and more venture capital funding is flowing into the fintech sector in Saudi Arabia. Sixteen deals worth $157.2 million were concluded between January and August of last year, which is ten times the amount recorded in all of 2020.
Arab News added:
The launch of Open Banking in Saudi Arabia in 2022, which allows companies to share current account data to consumers once permission is granted, is also expected to accelerate the development of fintech.
Such deals indicate the desires of crypto companies to explore a new market. At the same time, they want to move away from the United States due to the interference of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators. The Financial Sector Development Program and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 are examples of two initiatives that will attract digital investors to the region.