Taurus and Zand Bank Collaborate to Revolutionize Digital Banking

Taurus partners with UAE's Zand Bank to enhance digital banking through tokenization and blockchain connectivity.

Opinion polls predict that the Labour Party could secure a victory in today's General Election. This potential change in leadership has prompted discussions on the future of the UK's cryptocurrency ambitions, with industry leaders urging Labour to continue the current government's efforts to establish the UK as a global crypto hub. In parallel, major developments in the blockchain and real estate sectors highlight the increasing integration of digital assets with traditional industries, as seen in the partnership between Mantra Chain and Dubai's MAG Group, and the growing influence of advocacy groups pushing for progressive crypto policies.

Swiss Crypto Infrastructure Platform Taurus Partners with UAE's Zand Bank to Enhance Digital Banking and Tokenization

Swiss cryptocurrency infrastructure platform Taurus has announced a strategic partnership with Zand Bank, a leading digital bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This collaboration aims to bolster Zand’s custody and tokenization capabilities, while also enhancing its blockchain connectivity, marking a crucial step in the UAE's ongoing digital transformation.

Taurus’ cutting-edge infrastructure will empower Zand to issue tokenized financial and real-world assets across both permissioned and permissionless blockchains. This will be facilitated by Taurus’ robust node infrastructure, operating under the stringent regulations of the UAE. 

Furthermore, Taurus’ comprehensive custody solution will encompass cryptocurrencies, digital currencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), offering Zand a versatile platform to expand its digital asset services.

Zand, headquartered in Dubai, made history in 2022 by becoming the first digitally native bank to be licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE). This pioneering status demonstrates Zand’s commitment to redefining banking through digital innovation, although it is worth noting that it is not the first bank in the UAE to offer digital services. The bank operates entirely online without any physical branches, epitomizing the shift towards a fully digital banking experience.

Bashir Kazour, Managing Director of Taurus, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "It’s a privilege to assist Zand, a leader in digital banking, in launching their digital asset strategy in line with all applicable regulations.”

The CBUAE has been at the forefront of transforming the country’s digital financial market, implementing reforms aimed at enhancing the regulatory framework. Key measures include stricter Anti-Money Laundering (AML) verification requirements and a crackdown on unlicensed virtual asset service providers. These efforts bore fruit in February when the UAE was removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) gray list, thereby simplifying international finance and boosting the country’s financial reputation.

Crypto’s Growing Footprint in the UAE

Since being delisted from the FATF’s gray list, the UAE has introduced new regulations concerning the licensing of stablecoins. While some observers believe these regulations could complicate foreign investment, the UAE has nevertheless experienced a surge in crypto firms relocating to the country and obtaining licenses. 

High-profile firms such as Binance, Crypto.com, Nexo, Solana, Laser Digital, South Korea’s Hashed Ventures, Blockdaemon, and Chainalysis have all established a presence in the UAE this year.

Taurus has rapidly emerged as a prominent player in the global cryptocurrency infrastructure market. The company integrated with the Polygon blockchain in June 2023, further expanding its technological capabilities. 

Taurus is also backed by significant investments from financial powerhouses including Swiss Arab Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse. Its clientele comprises large financial institutions like Swiss Arab Bank and Deutsche Bank, as well as numerous small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Additionally, Taurus has extended its geographic reach to Turkey and Canada, reflecting its ambition to be a global leader in the field.

The partnership between Taurus and Zand Bank represents a major milestone in the UAE's journey towards becoming a global hub for digital banking and crypto innovation. By leveraging Taurus' advanced infrastructure solutions, Zand is well-positioned to lead the charge in the tokenization of financial and real-world assets, while maintaining compliance with the UAE's evolving regulatory landscape. This collaboration not only enhances Zand's service offerings but also signals the UAE's commitment to fostering a robust and dynamic digital financial ecosystem.

Mantra Chain Partners with MAG Group to Tokenize $500 Million Worth of Dubai Real Estate

Meanwhile, Mantra Chain has announced its partnership with Dubai-based real estate developer MAG Group to tokenize $500 million worth of assets. This strategic collaboration, detailed in a press release, marks a significant step towards integrating blockchain technology with real-world asset management and investment.

Mantra Chain, a blockchain platform with a strong focus on the Middle East, will tokenize these assets in multiple tranches. The first tranche will include Keturah Reserve, a prestigious residential project currently under construction by MAG in Meydan, Dubai. Additionally, this tranche will feature a $75 million mega-mansion at ‘The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Dubai, Creekside,’ which is part of the expansive Keturah Resort development.

Investors participating in this tokenization initiative will have the opportunity to earn yields through stablecoins and Mantra's native OM token. According to the press release, investors can expect yields of 8% from the stablecoins, along with additional allocations of OM tokens. 

However, the specific details regarding the stablecoins to be used and the amount of OM tokens to be distributed are still under discussion between MAG and Mantra. Final discussions on these specifics are slated to commence in the coming weeks.

The Broader Trend of Real-World Asset Tokenization

The collaboration between Mantra and MAG is part of a broader trend where crypto firms are pushing for the tokenization of real-world assets (RWA). This approach leverages blockchain technology to offer new investment opportunities and improve liquidity in traditionally illiquid markets such as real estate. 

Despite the enthusiasm from certain sectors, widespread adoption of RWA tokenization is expected to be a gradual process. McKinsey recently projected that the market for tokenized assets could reach $4 trillion by 2030 in an optimistic scenario but cautioned that mass adoption remains a distant goal.

In March, Mantra raised $11 million to advance its real-world tokenization efforts, highlighting the growing investor confidence in the platform’s vision. Furthermore, the company is in the final stages of securing necessary licenses from Dubai’s crypto regulator, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). 

The partnership between Mantra Chain and MAG Group signifies a pivotal moment in the intersection of blockchain technology and real estate. By tokenizing $500 million worth of prime Dubai real estate, the initiative aims to offer investors innovative ways to participate in the real estate market while earning attractive yields through stablecoins and OM tokens. 

As the details of the yield distributions are finalized, the industry will closely watch the outcomes of this ambitious venture. This collaboration not only reiterates the potential of blockchain in transforming traditional industries but also positions Dubai as a leading hub for technological and financial innovation.

Labour Party Poised for Victory: Keir Starmer Urged to Pursue UK's Crypto Hub Ambitions

As the United Kingdom headed to the polls yesterday, opinion polls predicted that the Labour Party could secure a significant victory in the General Election. This potential shift in power has sparked discussions about the future of the UK's position in the global crypto market. Financial services executive Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, has emphasized the importance of continuing the current Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's ambition to make the UK a "global crypto hub."

Although Labour leader Keir Starmer's stance on cryptocurrency remains somewhat unclear, there are promising signals from within his party. Shadow finance minister Rachel Reeves has shown an openness to the tech sector, while shadow city minister Tulip Siddiq has boldly declared that a Labour government would transform the UK into a global center for tokenized assets if victorious.

Green recently highlighted that Labour has included plans to "embrace securities tokenization and a central bank digital currency (CBDC)" in its vision for the UK. This aligns with Sunak’s previously stated goal, as Chancellor of the Exchequer in April 2022, to establish the UK as a global hub for crypto innovation.

Green emphasized that the cornerstone of establishing the UK as a global crypto hub lies in creating a clear, comprehensive regulatory framework. "A well-defined regulatory environment could provide clarity and security to businesses and investors," Green noted. He added that by working closely with industry leaders and stakeholders, a Labour government could ensure that regulations are balanced, fostering innovation while safeguarding the financial system.

Such an approach would make the UK an attractive destination for crypto companies seeking a stable and supportive regulatory climate. Green also pointed out that the City of London has historically been a leading global financial center, and by embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, Starmer could enhance the City's status. The combination of London’s robust financial infrastructure and progressive crypto regulations could attract international businesses and investors.

Green also outlined the potential benefits of establishing the UK as a global leader in cryptocurrency. He argued that a clearly defined regulatory framework, coupled with London's position as a financial center, would drive economic growth, create jobs, and nurture innovation. This would position the UK as a front-runner in the global crypto market, fostering a dynamic environment for financial technology advancements.

Stand With Crypto: Advocacy for Progressive Crypto Policies

In mid-June, Stand With Crypto, an advocacy group started by Coinbase, proposed seven UK crypto policy recommendations ahead of yesterday’s General Election. The group, which launched in London with an event at the House of Commons organized by its adviser and former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, outlined a comprehensive manifesto.

The manifesto urged the next UK government to promote the country as a global web3 and tokenization hub. It recommended establishing a joint industry-government task force to identify opportunities to position the UK as a leader in these areas. The advocacy group also called for swift legislation for crypto assets, adhering to the principle of "same risk, same regulatory outcome" to protect consumers and foster industry growth.

Stand With Crypto UK's policy recommendations include:

  • Swift Legislation for Crypto Assets: Implement regulations that ensure the same risk, same regulatory outcome principle, protecting consumers and fostering industry growth.

  • Regulation of Fiat-Backed Stablecoins: Encourage competition in digital payments by regulating fiat-backed stablecoins.

  • Recognizing Staking as a Regulated Activity: Ensure retail participation in staking, crucial for the functioning and innovation of proof-of-stake blockchains.

  • Promotion of the UK as a Global Web3 and Tokenization Hub: Establish a joint industry-government task force to explore opportunities for the UK.

  • Development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): Embrace CBDC as part of the UK’s financial innovation strategy.