Interview: Saqr Ereiqat, co-founder at Crypto Oasis
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Interview: Saqr Ereiqat, co-founder at Crypto Oasis

Interview: Saqr Ereiqat, co-founder at Crypto Oasis

How ready is the Middle East region to adopt blockchain and Web3? Ereiqat explains…

Divsha Bhat
Saqr Ereiqat, Crypto Oasis

Tell us about the growth of blockchain over the last decade.
The concept of blockchain was considered a hype in the early days, but it has now become a reality. Back in 2015, we were writing strategies, giving presentations and discussing the ways in which we could implement them. The inception of this technology has only been a few years ago, but now we’ve seen it evolve into a value-based conversation. It is still a long way to go before we join the mainstream, but I believe that any innovation passes through different stages along the way.

Do you see any myths around blockchain?
Of course! As a matter of fact, one of the biggest concerns is that blockchain, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use massive electricity. Factually, it is correct. They use electricity but then what doesn’t use electricity? There are certain networks that use electricity, for example, the banking and the telecommunication network. There are many things we need in our lives that depend on electricity. However, it is estimated that Bitcoin consumes less energy than both banking and gold, according to a study by Galaxy Digital. There is an estimate that the annual electricity consumption of Bitcoin is 113.89TWh/year, which is less than the consumption of gold (240.TWh/year) and banking (238.92TWh/year), respectively.

The other misconception is that everything is going to be on the blockchain. People think that in the future, everything that has value attached to it, will be on blockchain. So, we call this the Internet of values. Since they think everything has value, they assume everything needs to be put in blockchain and convert it into Bitcoins which will replace dollar as a means of payment. Although, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies allow us to create a new financial system, I firmly believe banks will not fade away.

How ready is the region to adopt blockchain and Web3?
We are much more advanced than other countries around the world, with UAE being the most futuristic in the region. The country has taken significant steps to promote and adopt blockchain and digital assets. Earlier this year, UAE issued a Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law to establish a legal framework to protect investors and implement international standards for virtual assets industry governance.

The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority is responsible for licencing and regulating the sector across Dubai mainland and free zone authorities. As early as 2018, Abu Dhabi Global Market, the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, launched its framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities. Last but not least, freezones are working towards creating a vibrant ecosystem for non-regulated Web3 activities.

How is Crypto Oasis making its mark in the region?
The Crypto Oasis is a Middle East focused blockchain ecosystem that is supported by thought leaders in the space. We have identified over 1,300 organisations in the UAE alone. These are entities active in the blockchain, NFT, metaverse or Web3 space. We have defined two categories for these entities: native – meaning entities that are incepted to capture the new business model, this emerging technology presents, and non-native – meaning entities that would exist with, or without this technology, but are active in that area. The forecast is to identify over 1,500 established firms across the region by the end of this year.

The significance of blockchain lies in its inherent transparency, trust and immutability. In order to achieve these characteristics, we have built an ecosystem that offers unique value to our partners.

Read: Crypto Valley Association, Crypto Oasis team up to boost blockchain development in the Middle East

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