Dubai: A $250 million funding platform focused on digital assets and blockchain infrastructure has come into being at ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market), even as UAE and Gulf enterprises sign up to the full possibilities of going digital.
Called ‘Bridgetower Middle East’, the platform will offer turnkey institutional ‘staking’; access to data center capabilities; as well as private equity or venture capital support. (‘Staking’ is where institutional investors can earn income on their crypto assets in exchange for doing work to secure the blockchain.)
The fund is backed by Deus X Capital and Bridgetower Capital.
“The company - Bridgetower Middle East - is actively working to identify UAE partners that can help us continue to develop the digital assets ecosystem,” said Tim Grant, CEO of Deus X Capital. “We aim to build next-generation capabilities in a region that we believe is strategically critical going forward.”
The regulatory framework around virtual/crypto assets and usage has been put into place, through rules and licensing from ADGM in Abu Dhabi and VARA in Dubai. In Ras Al Khaimah, a dedicated free zone for virtual asset companies has been launched.
Taken together, these constitute a clear opportunity to take the crypto, blockchain and other virtual asset possibilities deeper. But with the ground rules in place.
Bridgetower Capital is a provider of digital assets infrastructure and private equity investment services.
According to Cory Pugh, CEO of Bridgetower Capital, “On the public side, we have worked closely with the regulators to ensure we are properly structured, which has provided a natural transition into the private market and opened many doors already.”
Even on digital asset infrastructure, it means the PPP (public-private partnership) formula coming into play.
“PPP is definitely on our roadmap and we see this is an important element of our long-term strategy to build communities around infrastructure,” said Grant.
Bridgewater Middle East plans to use ‘long-term capitalization’ options, including a possible ‘listing on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange ADX’.
“Our aim is to bring partners into the region that can foster growth in digital assets,” said Pugh. “While working with established businesses that want to capitalise on the potential of digital assets to create new and different financial ecosystems.”