South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb announced on Feb. 12 that it has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Abu Dhabi-based N-VELOP to establish a joint venture cryptocurrency exchange in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The two sides aim to establish the first authorized fiat cryptocurrency exchange in the UAE. The UAE government unveiled its plan to regulate cryptocurrencies through the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) at the end of last year and decided to issue licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges starting from the first half of this year.
N-VELOP itself is a joint project between Abu Dhabi-based E11 Investment Fund and Taiwanese venture capital outfit Trill Ventures Group. The joint venture was reportedly established to fund and develop blockchain initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and it jointly developed resources with royal families in the UAE and carried out a digital conversion project with the UAE government.
With the partnership with N-VELOP, Bithumb has established a foothold to push into the market in the MENA region. Bithumb is planning to expand its influence over the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which consist of oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Bithumb is currently working with U.S. fintech firm SERIES One to build a security-type token exchange and is in talks with Russian companies for partnership. It has been aggressively expanding its overseas business to become a global leading blockchain firm.