Iota, the open-source blockchain developer, has taken a significant step in its global expansion strategy by establishing the Iota Ecosystem DLT Foundation in Abu Dhabi. The foundation is the first to gain regulatory approval in Abu Dhabi following recent legislative changes. Notably, it is set to play a major role in advancing distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the Middle East.

Financial Approval and Foundation Launch

Regulators in Abu Dhabi granted approval to the Iota Ecosystem DLT Foundation, marking a milestone for the region’s blockchain industry. The announcement on November 29 highlighted the foundation’s commitment to fostering the growth of DLT through a dedicated focus on the Middle East.

Supported by a substantial investment of $100 million in Iota digital tokens, the foundation aims to accelerate the growth of its DLT. Furthermore, it will facilitate the transformation of real-world assets into digital equivalents. The funds will be strategically vested over the next four years, indicating a long-term commitment to the region.

Dominik Schiener, co-founder and chairman of Iota, expressed the foundation’s strategic approach. He also emphasized the opportunity to position itself in a market undergoing significant reshuffling. The focus is on onboarding institutions, encouraging them to work on-chain, particularly in the UAE where it is increasingly feasible.

Tokenization of Assets and Regulatory Landscape

In addition to technological advancements, the foundation plans to embark on “tokenizing” assets. Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, CEO of the Registration Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), outlined the country’s ambition to be a leading jurisdiction for the blockchain industry. The foundation’s approval by ADGM regulators positions it as a pioneer in this regulatory landscape.

The Iota Ecosystem DLT Foundation’s approval comes shortly after ADGM introduced comprehensive regulations on November 2, specifically targeting DLT foundations. The regulations provide opportunities for organizations to expand into DLT in the region.

Key compliance measures include disclosing key figures, adopting a name ending with “DLT Foundation,” maintaining a council structure, treating tokenholders as beneficiaries, and refraining from licensable activities by the ADGM.

Empowering Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

The new regulatory framework not only ensures compliance but also opens avenues for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to legally operate and issue tokens to their members. This forward-thinking approach positions Abu Dhabi as a proactive hub for blockchain innovation, with the Iota Ecosystem DLT Foundation leading the charge in the Middle East.

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