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Cryptocurrencies, asset-backed tokens and building a MENA crypto exchange


About this episode

As the topic “cryptocurrency” reaches its highest level on google trends globally, we decide to dig into this world in order to understand what it all means to us as individuals and potential investors. We’ve all seen the news and watched Elon Musk drive cryptocurrencies and particularly Bitcoin to its highest peak and then sent it back crashing. But is it all Elon? What else is at play? Are cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology the blockchain here to stay? Will they indeed fundamentally change the way we own assets and transact? We tackle these points and bring a MENA perspective as we chat with Daniel Ahmed, the co-founder of Fasset, a newly launched (but a couple of years in the making) emerging markets “Digital Asset Gateway” which offers a cryptocurrency exchange service and tokenization services for corporates/ governments with an emphasis on sustainability. We discuss cryptocurrencies, MENA trends, regulation, crypto cycles and his advise for first time crypto investors.

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Table of contents:

00:00 | Loulou’s introduction to Bitcoin

08:04 | Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

10:51 | Asset-backed cryptocurrencies or (security vs. utility token)

15:56 | Launching Fasset out of MENA and being regulated in Bahrain

18:11 | Crypto usage in MENA

22:06 | Impact of crypto liquidity on MENA

23:51 | How is Fasset different then other local exchanges

26:08 | Tokenizing a Tesla charger (proof of concept)

29:05 | Cryptocurrencies crash, reasons and outlook and HODLing

31:51 | Governments getting into digital currencies and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

36:50 | Advice to people looking to invest in cryptocurrencies and digital assets

40:40 | Account to follow / book to read on the topic

42: 57 | Loulou’s closing remarks

Glossary of terms:

  • FOMO: Fear of missing out.
  • Asset backed coins/ tokens: Tokens representing an asset that are minted and traded on crypto exchanges.
  • Minting a token: Creating a token on the blockchain.
  • Litecoin: A cryptocurrency.
  • Bitcoin Mining: It is the process of creating Bitcoin as a reward for a network of computers – also referred to as nodes – solving complex mathematical equations. The computer that can perform the “winning result” gets compensated with Bitcoin as a reward.
  • CBB: Central Bank of Bahrain.
  • CBDCs: Central Bank Digital Currencies. Several governments are currently looking at issuing their own digital currencies that could replace paper money.
  • Fiat money: Money issued by governments. It’s the money we use in our day-to-day transactions.
  • HODLers: HODL is a term derived from a misspelling of “hold” that refers to buy-and-hold strategies in the context of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Below are some interesting references and additional reading on the topic:

To reach out to Daniel you can ping him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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guest profile

Daniel Ahmed

Daniel Ahmed is co-founder and COO at Fasset. He was previously at the UAE Prime Minister’s Office designing and delivering on strategic policies and initiatives using emerging technologies. He started his career at Deloitte London, working across technology strategy and fintech. Daniel is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and read economics, philosophy and politics at King’s College London.

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