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Argentem Creek Partners establishes MENA and Asia HQ in Abu Dhabi in partnership with ADIO


 Argentem Creek Partners (Argentem Creek), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), will establish a new regional hub in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the region’s leading international financial centre. The partnership is part of ADIO’s AED 2 billion (USD 545 million) Innovation Programme that supports innovative companies in high-growth areas, including financial services. Argentem Creek’s new hub aims to increase access to investment opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Asia.

The US-based firm is an emerging market credit specialist firm investing across special situations, private credit, high yield and trade finance. Under the agreement, ADIO will provide financial and non-financial incentives to support the establishment of Argentem Creek’s regional hub in Abu Dhabi. 

Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO, said, “Abu Dhabi’s banking, insurance and asset management sectors are driving the region’s tremendous growth. ADIO’s partnership with Argentem Creek will benefit a range of sectors in the region, including manufacturing, logistics, trade finance and food security, by providing access to the firm’s emerging market and credit expertise to support existing and future opportunities. The partnership will also help to develop local talent and support the continued growth of Abu Dhabi’s financial services infrastructure with emerging markets knowledge and deal flow. The partnership through ADIO’s Innovation Programme illustrates our continued commitment to accelerating innovation in high-growth areas that will create impactful progress in the UAE and the wider region.”

Argentem Creek will seek to cultivate local and regional partnerships to expand the region’s access to investment opportunities across industry sectors by leveraging its expertise in emerging markets, restructuring and governance best practices. In addition to its emerging markets special situations flagship strategy, specific areas of focus for the office include Asia-focused assets, trade finance in energy transition materials and the firm’s other strategies across the MENA region.

Daniel Chapman, Argentem Creek CEO & CIO, said, “I am excited about our partnership with ADIO and grateful for their commitment, support and guidance that has been integral in accelerating our expansion into the region. Our Abu Dhabi regional office marks an important milestone in the firm’s strategic expansion to support the Middle East, Asia and Africa with greater proximity to clients, deal flow and investors in existing and future opportunities. Strong government support has established Abu Dhabi as a fast-developing, inclusive financial centre that fosters innovation. Abu Dhabi offers the infrastructure, business opportunities and highly skilled local talent that will enhance our existing global relationships and investment expertise. We are committed to creating value across strategic industry verticals and are thrilled to be part of the next chapter in Abu Dhabi’s development vision and growth.”

Argentem Creek will benefit from Abu Dhabi’s access to global markets and talent, and a favourable time zone that overlaps with key international markets. Moreover, ADGM’s strong framework for asset management companies and funds, fosters a business-friendly environment for industry practitioners while retaining appropriate levels of investor protection. Being established in Abu Dhabi’s international financial centre, Argentem Creek will benefit from the local footprint and gain access to some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.

Crypto hardware wallet maker Ballet announced the public launch of its NFT Services


Ballet Crypto steps into the world of NFTs by announcing the launch of the NFT Consulting and Development Services for enterprises. Ballet created this consulting service to empower organizations of every kind to integrate non-monetary crypto assets into their business strategies. From concept design to launch, Ballet’s full-spectrum NFT Services will guide clients through the process of developing and marketing NFTs that have real utility and value.

The most popular way NFTs are used today is to represent exclusive ownership of digital content. That digital content could be graphic art, music, or even just text. The text of Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet was made into an NFT that sold for $2.9 million. The highest price ever paid for a single NFT is $91.8 million. According to, the total market value of all NFTs exceeded $35 billion in March 2022.

Although much of the attention on the NFT (non-fungible token) asset class is due to the breathtaking price performance of the most popular NFTs, financial speculation is not the reason why Ballet is offering NFT Services. NFTs could potentially have utility and value in a variety of non-monetary applications. Proof of authenticity, proof of ownership, intellectual property, academic and professional credentials, tickets, memberships, voter registration, and “metaverse” are a few of the areas that non-monetary crypto assets could transform.

According to Ballet founder and CEO Bobby Lee, “NFTs have a much different value proposition than monetary crypto assets like Bitcoin, but the need for easy and safe cold storage is just as important. From our perspective as a maker of offline cold storage wallets, the rising popularity of NFTs in mainstream society is an opportunity that is too good to ignore.

Ballet NFT Services can add value to any organization: business or non-profit, large or small, with a physical presence or digital-only. It can also serve individual entrepreneurs, entertainers, authors, and influencers. Based on Ballet’s proven expertise in blockchain technology and its existing customized wallet and crypto gift card offerings, NFT Services is a natural extension of the business. For all those who have brilliant ideas involving non-monetary crypto assets but lack advanced computer programming skills, Ballet NFT Services is an effective and affordable solution to turn a vision into reality.

Ballet will host a Twitter Space on July 14 to introduce the new NFT Services and answer any questions from the audience. To learn more about how Ballet NFT Services can create value for your organization, please visit

Blue Chip Launches Their Real Estate Industry Backed Token


While the adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, as evidenced by last year’s bull market, there is still an abundant need to integrate real-world assets onto the blockchain.

The goal of BlueChip Token is to close this gap by connecting blockchain technology and the real world. BlueChip Token will make it simple and quick to tokenize and fractionalize real estate through many channels, including Metaverse, by using a set of smart contracts.

Ravinder Soni, CEO BlueChip Token says “ BlueChip token aims to help maximise the investors’ steady and fast growth in the market. As they also have a staking program”

Their premium staking program allows you to invest and earn high returns from multiple industries, all on a single platform. This makes BlueChip Token one of the world’s most powerful staking programs to offer such high returns.

The launch event of the BlueChip token witnessed Sonu Sood, an Indian actor, as chief guest along with Indian wrestler- The Great Khali, former Indian cricketer – Mohd. Azharuddin, Indian comedian- Sanket Bhosale, and Sugandha Mishra with other VIPs from various industries in Middle East like Dr. BU Abdullah, Mr. Mohd. Siddiq Khan, Mr. Butti Mohammed Khalifa,

Chief Executive Of Al Ali Yachts LLC & Sea Riders LLC – Mr. Yaqoob Al Ali and Father of the Middle East Cinema – Mr. Ahmad Golchin.

Sonu Sood said “ He is honoured to be a part of the Blue Chip Family. BlueChip is a terrific investment opportunity supported by real estate. BlueChip is a trusted name for a brighter future for you and your loved ones,” Sonu Sood said in his address to the gathering at the inauguration ceremony.

Blue Chip is bringing real estate to Metaverse, where people can own lands, homes and clubs. Blue Chip is elevating real estate investment to a new level.

Filecoin Takes First Step Towards Enabling On-Chain Smart Contracts Through Filecoin Virtual Machine Milestone


Filecoin,  a decentralized storage network designed to store humanity’s most important information, has achieved its first milestone in introducing its Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) by introducing a non-programmable WASM-based FVM. 

Now, any node operator can sync the Filecoin Mainnet using the FVM and Rust built-in actors, integrated in lotus, venus, forest, and fuhon implementations. Mainnet has switched from the legacy VMs to the WASM-based reference FVM. 

The Filecoin Virtual Machine is being introduced incrementally. This minimizes the risk of disruption to the network and gives developers plenty of opportunities to engage early on. Upon completion, it will unlock a host of possibilities, ranging from programmable storage primitives (such as storage bounties, auctions, and more), to cross-chain interoperability bridges (such as, trustlessly connecting Filecoin with Ethereum, Solana, NEAR, and more), to data-centric Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), to Layer 2 solutions (such as reputation systems, data availability sampling, computation fabrics, and incentive-aligned Content Delivery Networks), and more.

FT: Deutsche Bank puts app on staffers’ phones to monitor messages

Deutsche Bank is installing an app on some of its employees’ phones that lets it monitor their calls, texts and WhatsApp messages, according to the Financial Times.

The bank has spent the last few weeks installing the app from US firm Movius on work phones so that its compliance teams can keep an eye on communications with clients, says the FT, citing sources. Deutsche Bank has not commented.

The move comes as regulators in the US, UK and Germany all step up their interest in client communications.

The FT has previously reported that a former executive at Deutsche Bank’s asset management unit has cited WhatsApp use in a whistleblower complaint to Germany’s BaFin, which has recently asked the bank for details on how employees use messaging apps.

In December, the SEC and CFTC fined JPMorgan Chase a total of $200 million for allowing Wall Street employees to use apps including WhatsApp to get around US federal record-keeping laws.

Meanwhile, both HSBC and Credit Suisse have dismissed staffers over inappropriate messaging.

The Wealth Today Summit highlights that UAE Leads the Way in the Regulated Adoption of Digital Assets


The wealth and investment landscape has seen its fair share of changes over the last few years. While that happened, technology has emerged as the best bet to a better future. As the ecosystem matures, it presented opportunities and concerns in areas like DeFi and digital assets. 

The Wealth Today Summit held on June 21, 2022, at the Address Dubai Mall Hotel, looked into emerging trends and factors that that affect the investment ecosystem, especially in the UAE.  The Wealth Today Summit is an industry-driven event attended by over 200 professionals from the wealth and investment industry. 

The digital assets adoption, the way forward in institutional capital  were some of the topics discussed at The Wealth Today Summit. The experts who spoke at the forum were a mix of industry leaders and regulatory authorities, including Wai-Lum Kwok, CFA, Senior Executive Director, Authorisation & Fintech, FSRA, ADGM; Benjamin Ampen, Managing Director MENA, Kraken Crypto Exchange; Dr. Ryan Lemand, Co-Founder & CEO, Neovision Wealth Management and Gaurav Dubey, CEO, TDeFi – Crypto Incubator and Advisory, among others. Topics covered various aspects of the digital asset spectrum such as DeFi for family offices, Tokenization of funds and virtual assets, investing alternative investments and hedge funds, Family offices navigating the Venture Capital space and Investing in offshore jurisdictions: themes and considerations.

“The number of people who attended The Wealth Today Summit reflects the current state of the market. At the event, we reflected upon why the traditional world should start considering digital assets as a part of their asset portfolio,” states Gaurav Dubey, CEO, TDeFi – Crypto Incubator and Advisory. He adds, “The last three years have been pivotal in mass adoption and acceptance of crypto as an asset class in average household. Factors such as tokenization of regulated securities like gold, carbon credits and even trees played a huge role in making this happen. Today, crypto has found its peg in the traditional finance market. We see that the cypto market is performing better than traditional assets currently. As a high-risk asset, crypto cannot form a majority of the asset portfolio but it has found its place in the wealth preservation funds.” 

Everyone at the event agrees that the UAE is largely being recognized as a digital assets and digital hub globally. The UAE authorities have been aggressive in the digital asset space. Setting up a regulatory ecosystem with VARA, DMCC, ADGM and DWTC encourages players to license and authorize crypto assets, increases confidence among investors to trust regulated companies. The regulatory acceptance is a big influencer for the mass adoption of digital assets in the region.

DeFi and crypto assets are finding their way into family office portfolios and they become part of the diversification play. Dr. Ryan Lemand, Co-Founder & CEO, Neovision Wealth Management, comments, “Family offices, particularly in this region invested heavily in equities and real estate. Real estate takes a big portion of investment portfolio. However, it is tedious to register or exchange your property in the traditional manner. Besides, with the peak we observe in both these segments, it makes sense for family offices to consider alternative investments in the coming periods. At the sessions, we introduced DeFi to more traditional investors rather than specialized investors. With DeFi, a smart contract adds convenience and makes it accessible to investors.”

Benjamin Ampen, Managing Director MENA, Kraken Crypto Exchange, adds, “DeFi is in a very interesting space, and still in its infancy. It can address issues like inefficiency, opacity, lack of interoperability and centralized control. It comes with an attractive promise of removing intermediaries.” 

Going forward, regulations will play a key part. ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is at the forefront of issuing regulatory frameworks around DeFi. Wai-Lum Kwok, CFA, Senior Executive Director, Authorisation & Fintech, FSRA, ADGM reveals, “We released a whitepaper with reference points to encourage dialogue with the community. It is based on four concepts; DeFi does not change the nature of financial services; Equivalent risk, equivalent rules; No anonymous participants; and governance of defi protocols.

During the panel “Family Offices Navigating the venture capital space: finding the right chemistry” moderated by Bhaskar Dasgupta, key speaker Arshad Khan highlighted that UAE becomes now the go-to hub for family offices to set up shop. Panelists added to the discussion that it is essential for family offices to take into consideration the digital assets approach and look at the ecosystem as a whole.

Breaking the myth about Bitcoins, Saqr Ereiqat, Co-Founder, Crypto Oasis, addressed, “There’s a big argument about the energy efficiency of Bitcoins. Bitcoin mining uses less than 1 per cent of global energy consumption for a multi-million-dollar economy. This created an entire new economy and that’s not bad. Moreover, 50 per cent of bitcoins are being mined by green energy.” 

The Wealth Today Summit was sponsored by TDeFi, fasTToken, 21Shares, Kraken, Stockal, FRA, and Peregrine; with support from Crypto Oasis.

The Wealth Today is a vehicle of communication for professionals and organizations shaping the finance, wealth, banking, investment, trade, and business landscape.

DeFi lending giant Celsius halts withdrawals


The Celsius Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform and one of the largest crypto lenders, announced Sunday night that it was “pausing all withdrawals, Swap, and transfers between accounts.” It has 1.7 million customers.

The company’s token, CEL, is trading at 23 cents as of this writing, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s a 92 percent decrease from April 8th, when CEL was worth $3. The token was worth nearly $7 a year ago.

There have been questions about Celsius Networks’ high yields, its connections to failed stablecoin Terra, and its reserves. The value of assets on its platform dropped by half to $12 billion in May, from $24 billion in December 2021. Between March and May, a billion dollars flowed out of the system, The Financial Times reported.

In a June 7th blog post entitled “Damn the torpedoes,” the company said, “Celsius has the reserves (and more than enough ETH) to meet obligations, as dictated by our comprehensive liquidity risk management framework.”

That was then. On June 12th, an email to all customers started off like this:

Due to extreme market conditions, today we are announcing that Celsius is pausing all withdrawals, Swap, and transfers between accounts. We are taking this action today to put Celsius in a better position to honor, over time, its withdrawal obligations.

‍MoneyGram Launches Pioneering Global Crypto-to-Cash Service on the Stellar Network


 MoneyGram, a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar, an open-source public blockchain that allows money to be tokenized and transferred globally, today announced the initial roll-out of a first-of-its-kind global on/off-ramp service for digital wallets to increase the utility of digital assets by creating a bridge between cash and cryptocurrencies. The service, a result of the partnership between MoneyGram and SDF announced in October 2021, is now available in a number of key remittance markets, including Canada, Kenya, Philippines and the U.S. for the first wave of users, with global cash-out functionality expected to be available by the end of June 2022.

Powered by the Stellar blockchain and Stellar-enabled digital wallets, MoneyGram’s retail agent network, and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC), a fully-reserved dollar digital currency, the service provides cash users access to the world of cryptocurrency via any participating MoneyGram location. This service is a monumental step towards bridging the gap between physical and digital currencies in a way that has not been done before at scale. As it develops, this solution will pave the way for blockchain technology to further financial inclusion, creating fluidity between cash and crypto so more people can benefit from the digital economy.

To support adoption, MoneyGram will offer this as a zero-fee service for the first 12 months.

“We’re thrilled to work alongside the Stellar Development Foundation on this important initiative to bring more opportunities to consumers around the world by making the worlds of crypto and local fiat currency compatible,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO. “At MoneyGram, we’re on a mission to deliver innovative financial solutions that connect the world’s communities, and the initial launch of this service is another important milestone on our journey. It’s especially exciting to launch this service ahead of schedule due to the strong collaboration of our technology teams, and we look forward to further collaboration with SDF as we work on uncovering new ways to utilize blockchain to further streamline cross-border payments.”

The partnership focuses on delivering a service that revolutionizes the settlement process. For the first time, settlement with MoneyGram will occur in near-real-time using USDC, one of the world’s fastest growing dollar digital currencies. This enables an accelerated collection of funds, improving efficiencies and reducing risks.

“A much-needed solution to the cash-to-crypto on/off-ramp problem is here,” said Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation. “Today, almost 2 billion people rely on cash for their livelihood, with no options to access the digital economy. At the same time, a persistent pain point for crypto-native users is off-ramping cryptocurrency quickly and reliably. The groundbreaking nature of this service is how it solves problems for a range of users with varying needs around the world 

With the launch of this service, digital wallet users can now move seamlessly from cash to cryptocurrency, to cash again — all without requiring a bank account or credit card. Consumers can now go into a MoneyGram location to either load their digital wallets to access the digital economy, or cash-out their digital currencies to increase the utility of their holdings.

Users of the Stellar-connected digital wallets Vibrant and LOBSTR, with more wallets expected to be added soon, can now access this service at MoneyGram’s participating international retail locations. This service also creates a developer platform that will allow more businesses within the Stellar ecosystem and beyond, including wallets and service providers, to expand the functionality and reach of MoneyGram’s integration with the Stellar network. For example, Elliptic, a global leader in crypto asset risk management, will provide MoneyGram with robust blockchain analytics solutions, and Wyre, a leading provider of blockchain payments APIs, will help other wallets, starting with Airtm, a digital dollar account, integrate with the MoneyGram service.

MoneyGram will expand access to the cash-in service into seven more countries by the end of June, at which point cash-out functionality will also be available globally, where permitted by law. Learn more about the service and how to access it at

Top Finance Execs from ADGM, Kraken, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners To Discuss Future of The Investments Landscape In The MENA Region At The Wealth Today Summit


The Wealth Today will host the exclusive gathering of top executives in the MENA region at the Address Dubai Mall Hotel, to discuss and debate on the most critical emerging trends which are carving the wealth and investment domain globally. 

The Summit will be an industry-driven event that will highlight contemporary topics and unfold the nuances over a day of interactive knowledge and networking sessions. 

The Summit will provide an exclusive in-person platform to HNIs, Ultra HNIs, investment executives, family office representatives, and other stakeholders active in the wealth, investment management and crypto economy space, to engage, learn, and network with their peers, competitors, and other stakeholders in the value chain.

The Summit will provide an exclusive in-person platform for HNIs, investment executives, family office representatives, and other stakeholders active in the wealth, investment management and crypto economy, to engage, learn and network with their peers, competitors, and other stakeholders in the value chain.

Top executives from Peregrine, Stockal, Neovision Wealth Management, MidChains, Cypher Capital, Forensic Risk Alliance, Crypto Oasis, Sheesha Finance, Equiti Group, Ghaf Capital, Roland Berger among others will be present at The Wealth Today Summit

Amongst some of the topics discussed by the regional senior most executives, Wai-Lum Kwok, CFA, Senior Executive Director, Authorization & Fintech, FSRA, ADGM will join Benjamin Ampen, Managing Director MENA, Kraken Crypto Exchange, and Dr. Ryan Lemand, Co-Founder & CEO, Neovision Wealth Management to decode the topic ‘DeFi for family offices – a good diversification play?’

“Crypto assets face a reckoning, the recent upheaval having raised fundamental questions about their role in investment portfolios. Regulations will have a key role to play in providing more clarify and confidence for investors, if cryptos are to become mainstream.  I look forward to speaking at The Wealth Today Summit and consulting with industry experts and practitioners to discuss market trends and industry analysis. The future of the investment landscape in the region is now and this is the right platform to explore underlying opportunities to build on it.”  

WAI-Lum Kwok, CFA, Senior Executive Director, Authorisation & Fintech, Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

Tokenization of Funds is promising to solve many existing problems. An expert panel comprising of Gaurav Dubey, CEO, TDeFi – Crypto Incubator and Advisory, Peter Coates, Head of Strategy, Peregrine, Alexander Rapatz, Managing Partner, Black Manta Capital Partners, James Munce, CEO, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partner, Gaurang Desai, Managing Director – Strategy, Equiti Group would discuss the trends and developments in the space with panel being moderated by Bhaskar Dasgupta, Independent Board Director and Advisor.

Crypto is becoming a staple in each investment portfolio. Our forward-looking regulation makes the UAE a prime location to invest safely. I greatly look forward to exploring this further with a distinguished audience and fellow experts at the Wealth Today Summit Stefan Kimmel, Chief Commercial and Operating Officer MENA, Kraken Crypto Exchange

The summit will also witness Bhavin Shah, Partner and Head of MEA, Forensic Risk Alliance, moderating the critical topic in crypto economy of ‘Family offices investing in crypto: next steps’ with Phillip Gillespie, Co-CEO, B2C2, Stefan Kimmel, Chief Commercial and Operating Officer MENA, Kraken Crypto Exchange, Karim AbdelMawla, Research Associate, 21 Shares and Bijan Alizadeh, Co-Founder, Cypher Capital.

At 21Shares, we’re constantly working on new products and eagerly moving into markets where crypto can thrive. The UAE is becoming one of those markets, with local investors looking for new ways to engage with these rapidly growing economic ecosystems. Already we’ve launched on over 15 exchanges, with more than 30 products, so we understand the development of new markets. And, ultimately, that’s why 21Shares wanted to participate in this event. It’s a forum to explore the market in UAE, how it could evolve for crypto, and how we can innovate to best serve investors – Karim AbdelMawla, Research Associate, 21 Shares.

Participants at the Summit will get an opportunity to learn, ask questions, network, and dialogue on some of the most disruptive trends, including emerging technologies that are currently shaping the finance sector.  Sponsors of the event include TDeFi – Crypto Incubator and Advisory, FasTToken, 21Shares, Kraken, Stockal, FRA, Neovision Wealth Management and Peregrine; with Crypto Oasis, Supporting the Summit as Ecosystem Partner
To find out more about The Wealth Today Summit kindly visit the website.

U.S. senators unveil bill to regulate cryptocurrency


A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would establish new rules for cryptocurrency, and hand the bulk of their oversight to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, one of Congress’ most vocal cryptocurrency advocates, and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, marks one of the most ambitious efforts yet by lawmakers to place clear guard rails around rapidly growing and controversial cryptocurrency markets.
The measure would stipulate that the CFTC, not the Securities and Exchange Commission, play the primary role in regulating crypto products, most of which the senators said operate more like commodities than securities. The smaller CFTC is generally seen as a friendlier regulator for cryptocurrency, as the SEC has typically found that crypto products must adhere to a host of securities requirements.

The bill is not expected to become law in the current session of Congress, with the midterm elections just months away, but its framework could serve as a starting point for future debates about how best to oversee those markets.

“We expect this bill will be the starting point for debate next year regardless of which party controls the House or the Senate,” wrote Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Cowen Washington Research Group. “What does matter is that there is a bipartisan effort to bring crypto into the existing regulatory regime even if the details are likely to change.”