BitOasis and MBC Group launch cryptocurrency awareness campaign across Mena

First-of-its-kind programme in the region comes at a time when crypto adoption across the Middle East and North Africa is growing

From left, Fadel Zahreddine, group director of emerging media at MBC Group; Ola Doudin, chief executive and co-founder of BitOasis; Aref Abed, mobile business manager at MBC; and Vipin Sasidharan, growth and brand manager of BitOasis, during the signing of the cryptocurrency awareness agreement in Dubai. Photo: BitOasis
Powered by automated translation

BitOasis, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the Middle East and North Africa, and MBC Group, the region's biggest broadcasting company, have partnered to launch awareness programmes to drive the adoption of digital assets.

The agreement — the first of its kind in the region — will see BitOasis's educational campaigns aired on Dubai-based MBC's portfolio of digital platforms and TV channels, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The move comes amid a growing interest in crypto investments in the region.

“In countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, crypto assets are steadily going mainstream due to early adoption by tech-savvy millennial and Gen Z retail investors, but a massive majority across the region still do not have a good understanding of this emerging asset class,” said Ola Doudin, chief executive and co-founder of Dubai-based BitOasis.

“We are ramping up efforts to ensure consumers are aware and educated about investing in crypto across our region whilst offering the simplest and most accessible way to invest.”

The move comes amid a growing interest in crypto investments in the region. In March, London-based research firm YouGov reported that about two thirds of residents are interested in investing in digital assets within the next five years.

One in five consumers in the UAE said they intend to trade in cryptocurrencies in the next 12 months, the highest globally after Indonesia and India, it added.

A third of UAE residents say they have invested in cryptocurrencies, a higher rate compared to the global rate of 30 per cent, a survey by online market research company Toluna showed.

Residents in the UAE plan to allocate 26 per cent of their investable assets to cryptocurrency, compared to 20 per cent globally, it added.

Regulators in the country have also taken various steps to help the industry grow and safeguard investors.

In March, Dubai adopted the Virtual Asset Regulation Law, the first law of its kind in the emirate that regulates virtual assets, aimed at creating an advanced legal framework to protect investors and providing international standards for virtual asset industry governance.

The law is poised to be a global model for regulators to oversee cryptocurrencies and protect investors while also boosting economic growth and innovation, Jonathan Levin, co-founder of blockchain data platform Chainalysis, said at Dubai's World Government Summit in March.

Vara also entered the metaverse by establishing its Metaverse HQ, making it the first regulator to have a presence in the emerging digital space.

The cryptocurrency market, however, has been in a slump in recent weeks. Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency, dropped below $30,000 on May 10, the first time it fell beyond that key threshold since July 2021.

As of Wednesday afternoon UAE time, Bitcoin's price remains below the level at $29,410.06 and is down about 1.4 per cent over the past 24 hours, data from CoinMarketCap show.

BitOasis's campaign with MBC Group is in line with a long-term objective of building an efficient, secure and inclusive virtual asset ecosystem within the region, which would help revive the market and foster more interest, Ms Doudin said.

“We’re witnessing the fast speed at which our region is embracing and adopting the blockchain and Web3 technologies,” said Fadel Zahreddine, group director of emerging media at MBC Group.

“Seeing as how crypto currencies are essential to this ecosystem, we see this partnership as a natural progression as we usher in this new era.”

MBC Group, meanwhile, is continuing to support technological initiatives.

In February, it formed a joint venture with Neom, the $500 billion high-tech mega-city being built in Saudi Arabia, to set up the first games development studio in the region rated AAA, a classification that labels games produced and distributed by midsized or big publishers that usually have higher budgets.

Updated: May 17, 2023, 11:16 AM