Saudi Arabia’s Nuqtah, a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), is teaming up with New York-based Ethereum blockchain company Consensys to support the development of Web3-focused start-ups in the kingdom.
As part of the agreement, Consensys will transfer knowledge and expertise to “empower” Web 3 start-ups in the Arab world's largest economy, Nuqtah said in a statement on Saturday.
“This partnership is only the beginning of our opening and humanising this new space," Salwa Radawi, chief executive of Nuqtah, said. "It not only opens a great deal of opportunities for us and fellow Web3 start-ups within the industry, but also ensures that we are able to transfer this knowledge and localise it for the region.”
Web3 is the emerging new concept of the World Wide Web, with blockchain, decentralisation, openness and greater user utility among its core components.
Its market size is expected to reach about $6.2 billion in 2023, and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 44 per cent from 2023 to 2030, according to Market Research Future.
Web2, the current iteration that arrived in the mid-2000s, resulted in the rise of more interactive web pages, with millions of people around the world able to view user-generated content in an instant.
Consensys expects "very high growth" for Web3 as the adoption of new technologies increases across the region, the statement said.
NFTs are digital avatars of artworks and collectibles. Ownership of these digital assets is recorded on a blockchain, which is a digital ledger. But, unlike currencies, in which every token is of equal value and can be swapped for any other, NFTs have unique qualities that stop them from being interchangeable or fungible.
The latest partnership comes as Saudi Arabia continues to focus on developing its technology sector.
Earlier this year, the kingdom unveiled more than $6.4bn worth of investments in future technologies and entrepreneurship to accelerate the country's digital economy.
The initiatives include the official launch of Saudi Aramco Venture’s $1bn Prosperity7 fund and a $1bn investment from Neom Tech and Digital Company in future technologies and others.