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IOTA Rolls Out $100M Abu Dhabi Foundation, Targets Middle East

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe/prima91

Open-source blockchain platform IOTA has unveiled its Abu Dhabi Foundation as part of its strategy to kickstart its Middle East expansion plans.

Taking to its X (formerly Twitter) official handle on November 29, the feeless, permissionless distributed ledger technology (DLT) protocol announced the launch of the IOTA Ecosystem DLT Foundation.

This foundation, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), is duly registered with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) financial authority.

To commence the foundation’s operations, IOTA disclosed that it would be seeded with $100 million in its native IOTA tokens over a four-year period and released in scheduled tranches.

The $100 million would be focused on facilitating the foundation’s activities and accelerating the growth of the DAG data structure protocol in the Middle East.

Highlighting its overarching goals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, IOTA stated that the foundation aims to cultivate valuable relationships and work towards the adoption of its protocol and its staging network, Shimmer, across various sectors in the selected territory.

In its blog post, IOTA outlined its plans to forge partnerships with institutional investors, governments, and academic institutions to boost the tokenization of real-world assets (RWAs).

The objective is to onboard these RWAs onto the blockchain and drive much-needed capital into the UAE’s virtual assets landscape.

Speaking on the remarkable development, the CEO of the Registration Authority (RA) of the ADGM, Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, stated that the IOTA Ecosystem DLT Foundation is a testament to the region’s ambition to become a prime location for the blockchain ecosystem.

Mazrouei also noted that the ADGM is mapping out a future where it sets the right global benchmarks in the Web3 landscape.

IOTA’s DLT Ecosystem Foundation is the first-ever blockchain initiative getting the green light from the region’s international financial center (IFC).

Launched in 2015, the ADGM plays a crucial role in serving as a strategic hub for linking growing economies in the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world.

IOTA Evolving From Enterprise to Competitive Layer-1 Protocol

IOTA describes itself as the next step in the evolution of blockchain technology. Departing from the conventional reliance on blocks for data storage, it adopts an innovative Direct Acyclic Graph (DAG) structure that increases transaction output while minimizing potential costs.

IOTA’s focus has largely been enterprise-driven since its debut in 2015. However, a notable shift is underway with the introduction of its Abu Dhabi Foundation.

Corroborating a paradigm change in its operational framework, the IOTA team disclosed that the DLT Foundation would automatically transition it into a competitive layer-1 blockchain protocol within the Web3 and cryptocurrency space.

To achieve this, the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 will see the protocol become Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible. This compatibility will facilitate the smooth operation of Ethereum developers and decentralized applications (dApps) on the IOTA platform.

Additionally, the IOTA protocol would launch its first RWAs within that same timeframe as it seeks to onboard institutional investors.