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Paymentology appoints Nadia Benaissa as global head of marketing


Paymentology announces the appointment of Nadia Benaissa as Global Head of Marketing, and member of its leadership team.

Nadia is a seasoned marketing expert with a passion for fintech, bringing with her more than 20 years’ experience across five continents, in payments, banking and fintech. As the global Head of Marketing at Paymentology, Nadia will spearhead the company’s continued expansion across the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Abe Smith, Chief Growth Officer at Paymentology commented on the appointment: “With two decades of experience in leading cross-functional global marketing teams in the fintech industry, we are incredibly excited to welcome a leader of Nadia’s calibre to the team. Her proven track record of delivering results through strategic marketing communications, and passion for the industry, make her the perfect candidate to support us in achieving our growth ambitions.”

Nadia Benaissa, Global Head of Marketing at Paymentology added: “Throughout my career I have chosen to work with dynamic fintech organisations that are leading from the front in the global progress towards the digitisation of financial services. That’s why I am delighted to join the Paymentology team. With customer centricity at the core, together with its clients and partners, Paymentology is providing access to financial services and placing cards into the hands of millions of people across the globe, via localised, data-driven, next generation payment solutions. I look forward to building on the existing successes of the organisation with an enhanced global marketing programme.”

An active member of the fintech ecosystem, Nadia co-chairs the payments committee at the MENA Fintech Association, is a member of the financial inclusion working group at Payments Association UK, and an active member of the Financial Alliance for Women. Nadia is also a mentor to burgeoning fintechs and startups at Startupbootcamp, the world’s largest network of multi-corporate backed accelerators.

Prior to joining Paymentology, Nadia was the Marketing Director at BPC, supporting its growth journey, along with the creation of new fintechs and before that worked at Germany’s Digital Fintech and neobank Fidor as the Global Chief Marketing Officer developing its international growth. She has also worked with CR2, an Irish-headquartered omnichannel banking player, leading the company’s communications and marketing strategy across emerging markets.

At the start of her career, Nadia was the youngest employee at AEMS Paris, a joint venture between Euronext and Atos, where she helped set up the corporate communications and marketing department from the ground up. The company developed ‘exchange as a service’, with trading, clearing and settlement solutions dedicated to stock exchanges worldwide and was further acquired by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE Technologies).

Hong Kong plugs its crypto credentials while rival Singapore is backtracking


HONG KONG – Hong Kong will be an excellent place for crypto, fintech, and other start-ups to set up shop in the new year, the city’s financial secretary said on Monday, looking past the current upheaval in the industry.

Mr. Paul Chan, speaking at a Web3 forum in the Cyberport business park, said Hong Kong remains committed to becoming a regional crypto hub – an ambition expressed at the end of October, just before Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange had its industry-altering meltdown – and will work to attract new businesses from all over the world.

Hong Kong is keen to plug its crypto credentials at a time when rival Singapore is backtracking, spooked by the fallout from the derailment of FTX.

Following the city’s policy statement, several leading tech firms and start-ups are now considering a move of their headquarters or an expansion to Hong Kong, Mr. Chan said, without disclosing their names.

“As certain crypto exchanges collapsed one after another, Hong Kong became a quality standing point for digital asset corporates,” said Mr. Chan, who has been Hong Kong’s financial secretary since 2017. He added that the city has a robust regulatory framework that “matches international norms and standards” while prohibiting free riders.

Hong Kong is preparing to issue more licenses for digital asset trading firms. The city is also planning a consultation on crypto platforms – exploring the potential for retail participation in the industry – the details will be published soon, said Mr. Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, at the same event.

Change of Leadership at Securrency: Ex-State Street Nadine Chakar Joins as CEO


 Securrency, a leading developer of institutional-grade, blockchain-based financial and regulatory technology, today announced that Nadine Chakar will join the company and assume the role of Chief Executive Officer effective January 9th, 2023. 

Ms. Chakar’s leadership will combine her deep financial services, technology, and market experience with Securrency’s groundbreaking technology to deploy market-leading solutions on a global scale. She has been recognized as one of the most powerful women in finance and is a vocal champion for using technology to revolutionize financial services. Ms. Chakar brings over 30 years of experience in global wealth and asset management to Securrency. Most recently, she served as Executive Vice President and Head of State Street Digital, where she built and led the team that is helping State Street, institutional investors, and regulators successfully navigate the bank’s transition into a modern digital economy. Ms. Chakar also led State Street Global Markets, where she oversaw its trading, product, and operations platform, helping to drive successful client solutions. Prior to State Street, she served as global head of operations for Manulife’s Global Wealth and Asset Management Division and led the Global Asset Servicing teams for BNY Mellon.

In addition to her leadership at State Street Digital, Ms. Chakar has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Securrency since 2021. Her appointment as the CEO of Securrency highlights the growing importance of compliance aware tokenization, interoperability, and institutional DeFi to the future of global finance. 

Ms. Chakar’s appointment will allow Dan Doney, Securrency’s founder, who has served as the company’s CEO and lead architect since its inception, to focus on innovation, technology delivery, and commercialization by continuing to serve as the Chief Technology Officer of Securrency. Mr. Doney is recognized as one of the preeminent thought leaders in the blockchain and decentralized finance space. This focus will accelerate the growth of Securrency’s blockchain-enabled financial services infrastructure market share.

Nadine Chakar, incoming CEO of Securrency said: “The financial services industry is at a critical tipping point as it tokenizes regulated real-world assets and automates legacy financial processes using the power of blockchain technology. The Securrency team has done a remarkable job of developing the most robust technology on the market. As the new CEO, my priority is to accelerate the commercialization of what is in essence the digital asset intelligence and interoperability foundation for major financial institutions and the global ecosystem. Dan Doney is a true visionary and innovator in the industry, and I look forward to working closely with him and the team to create the global digital assets marketplaces of the future.”

Dan Doney, Co-founder, and Chief Technology Officer of Securrency, said: “Nadine is an exceptional leader and Securrency has been fortunate to leverage her extensive financial industry expertise as a board member and now as incoming CEO. She knows capital market operations inside and out. Nadine shares my passion for innovation, and we are united in our determination to make financial markets more accessible and efficient. She has a razor-sharp view of where reform is needed and how our technology can help. I am excited to work with Nadine as we focus on evolving our solution to bridge traditional and decentralized finance.”  

Jonathan Steinberg, CEO of WisdomTree, said: “The future of finance relies on regulation-forward and compliance-driven digital development and Nadine has long been a driver of this evolution. Working with Nadine as a client and industry leader, I have witnessed not only her tremendous expertise in the integration of RegTech and digital assets, but her steadfast belief that Securrency’s technology will pave the way for institutional DeFi. I congratulate Nadine, Dan, and the entire Securrency team on this bold move for the company.”

Bankman-Fried left in the lurch as former executives plead guilty


Two high-level associates of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried have pleaded guilty to fraud charges relating to the spectacular implosion of the cryptocurrency exchange.

Carolyn Ellison, the former CEO of trading firm Alameda Research, and FTX co-founder and chief technology officer Gary Wang are cooperating with a wide-ranging investigation into criminal misdemeanors at bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.

According to the SEC, between 2019 and 2022, Ellison, at the direction of Bankman-Fried, furthered the scheme by manipulating the price of FTT, an FTX-issued exchange crypto security token, by purchasing large quantities on the open market to prop up its price.

In doing so, Bankman-Fried and Ellison caused the valuation of Alameda’s FTT holdings to be inflated, which in turn caused the value of collateral on Alameda’s balance sheet to be overstated, and misled investors about FTX’s risk exposure.

In addition, from at least May 2019 until November 2022, Bankman-Fried is said to have raised billions of dollars from investors by falsely touting FTX as a safe crypto asset trading platform with sophisticated risk mitigation measures to protect customer assets and by telling investors that Alameda was just another customer with no special privileges; meanwhile, Bankman-Fried and Wang improperly diverted FTX customer assets to Alameda.

The SEC also alleges that Ellison and Wang were active participants in the scheme to deceive FTX’s investors and engaged in conduct that was critical to its success. The complaint alleges that Wang created FTX’s software code that allowed Alameda to divert FTX customer funds, and Ellison used misappropriated FTX customer funds for Alameda’s trading activity.

“As alleged, Mr. Bankman-Fried, Ms. Ellison, and Mr. Wang were active participants in a scheme to conceal material information from FTX investors, including through the efforts of Mr. Bankman-Fried and Ms. Ellison to artificially prop up the value of FTT, which served as collateral for undisclosed loans that Alameda took out from FTX pursuant to its undisclosed, and virtually unlimited, line of credit,” says Sanjay Wadhwa, deputy director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “By surreptitiously siphoning FTX’s customer funds onto the books of Alameda, defendants hid the very real risks that FTX’s investors and customers faced.”

The European Central Bank will finalize the overall design of a digital euro in the second half 2023


The European Central Bank says it will finalise the overall design of a digital euro in the second half of next year as it publishes its second progress report on the project.

The report details the second set of design and distribution options that were recently endorsed by the ECB’s Governing Council and describes:

  • the role of intermediaries, responsible for the onboarding of end-users, anti-money laundering checks, and consumer-facing services, such as payment initiation solutions;
  • the settlement model, which defines who will settle online or offline transactions;
  • the way in which funding and defunding will take place to allow users to convert cash and money from a bank account into digital euro;
  • the distribution model. A digital euro scheme is envisaged since it is best suited to guaranteeing that all euro area citizens can pay and be paid in digital euro.

The central bank says it will assess a further number of design and distribution options before presenting a full report to the Governing Council later next year.

The ECB says the Governing Council will review the outcome of the investigation phase in autumn 2023 and decide whether to proceed to a realization phase.

Should the project get the green light, EU citizens are unlikely to get their hands on a digital euro until 2026 at the earliest.

Unqork and Securrency Launch Private Markets Asset Tokenization Solution Powered by Codeless Architecture


Unqork, the leading codeless-as-a-service platform, today announced that it has entered into a partnership with Securrency, a world-class developer of institutional-grade blockchain-enabled financial and regulatory technology, to create an end-to-end digital asset solution for private market customers. Leveraging Unqork’s enterprise-grade codeless development platform, Securrency’s Capital Markets Platform provides financial institutions and other operators with all of the features needed to launch a digital asset marketplace. The out-of-the box solution can be easily customized and integrated to best fit individual business needs. With the marketplace, customers can: 

  • Onboard users easily and verify asset managers, investors, and other transaction participants in real time with fully customizable workflows
  • Design and execute fund documents digitally (e.g., private placement memoranda and subscription  documents)
  • Tokenize and distribute funds with Securrency’s patented Compliance Aware Token® Framework
  • Securely transact via digital wallets on the Stellar Network, Ethereum, and other top-tier blockchain networks for real-time fund subscriptions and redemptions

This marks the first time that codeless technology has been used to build, deploy, and manage an out-of-the-box blockchain-based solution for tokenized private securities and other assets. The powerful combination of Unqork’s codeless integrations and orchestration with Securrency’s enterprise-grade tokenization platform ensures stability, interoperability, and efficiency at every step of the digital asset lifecycle.

While the traditional investment interaction model between investors and private markets operators often limits self-service and transparency for users, the digital assets marketplace provides self-guided on-boarding and Know Your Customer (KYC), Compliance Aware Tokenization®, enhanced analytics and reporting, and expanded access to new markets. Unqork’s codeless architecture drives flexible workflows with a robust orchestration to digitize the subscription process, improve regulatory adherence, and increase liquidity. 

“By harnessing the power of blockchain technology to create tokenized assets, automate compliance, and streamline financial transactions, Securrency and Unqork are unlocking the value of digital marketplaces for investors and financial institutions,” said Dan Doney, CEO, Securrency. “We recognized the tremendous value in what Unqork’s codeless architecture can deliver, and are excited to use it with our Capital Markets Platform to help customers grow their private markets businesses and provide greater liquidity and access to investors.” 

“For years, Unqork’s codeless platform has been used by some of the world’s largest financial institutions to build mission-critical applications. We are excited to now bring codeless architecture to digital assets to address some of the most important priorities in this growing industry, empowering enterprises with built-in composability, security, and scalability for their most complex applications,” said Gary Hoberman, CEO and founder, Unqork. “Coupled with Securrency’s Capital Markets Platform technology and digital asset expertise, we are delivering a world class token solution for private markets customers looking for a customized end-to-end marketplace experience.”  

To learn more about Unqork, visit

Hong Kong-Based Finoverse (previously FINNOVASIA) announces pivot to web3 and expansion in North America and Middle East


Finoverse (previously FINNOVASIA), the officially appointed organizer of the Hong Kong FinTech Week, announces today at the opening of HKFTW 2022 their expansion into North America, the Middle East and the scale up into Web3. Company’s co-founder & CEO Anthony Sar shared more about this vision in a founder’s letter.

This marks a major step into Finoverse’s growth, following the partnership with The Securities Commission of The Bahamas, and Government of The Bahamas, to host a global FinTech and Web3 Festival on 24-26 January 2023 in Nassau, The Bahamas. The in-person festival, branded as D3 Bahamas, aims to host over 3,000 industry leaders to discuss the future of Web3, Blockchain, Crypto, Decentralized Finance, Central Bank Digital Currencies, Green Finance, and more.

D3 Bahamas will take place in the following week after the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. “The leadership of the traditional world will meet at Davos, and then the leadership of the new digital world will meet in the Bahamas”, – said Anthony Sar, co-founder and CEO of Finoverse. In addition to the Bahamas, the company is also now in active conversations with the governments and regulators in the Middle East to host its flagship event there in 2023.

Highlighting the expansion and growth, the company also announces the completion of an extensive rebranding effort unveiling its new brand identity, logo and name – Finoverse. The new brand represents the new chapter for the company, which has been at the forefront of facilitating the growth of Hong Kong’s and Asia’s vibrant fintech ecosystem since 2015. 

Finoverse has been involved in projecting Hong Kong on the global fintech stage, by bringing over 65+ FinTech unicorns to the Hong Kong Fintech Week. It aims to continue to work closely 

with the Hong Kong government and regulators, and act as a FinTech ecosystem bridge between the East and West.

Singapore FinTech Festival 2022 returns as an in-person event from 31 October to 4 November


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Elevandi (a not-for-profit entity set up by the MAS to connect people and businesses, ideas and insights in the FinTech sector in Singapore and globally) today announced the return of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) as an in-person event to be held from 2 to 4 November 2022, with industry events and the annual Innovation Lab Crawl being held on 31 October and 1 November. Organised by MAS and Elevandi, in partnership with Constellar (a global player in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions industry) and in collaboration with The Association of Banks in Singapore, SFF 2022 will be held at the Singapore EXPO.

2   The theme of SFF 2022 will be ‘Building Resilient Business Models amid Volatility and Change’. With the global economy experiencing a surge in inflation and facing risks of a significant slowdown in growth, many FinTech firms are striving to stay resilient and viable.  Key stakeholders comprising government leaders, regulators, financial services leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and technology leaders will take stock of the drivers of change and examine three key questions:

  • Viable: How are organisations building and redefining business models that can be more resilient to volatile market conditions? 
  • Responsible: How are organisations balancing corporate responsibility and profitability in order to achieve greater stakeholder satisfaction and engagement? 
  • Inclusive: How are organisations designing inclusive business models that cater to the needs of the unbanked and underbanked? 


3   The conference segment of SFF 2022 will comprise a series of Global and Knowledge Plenary sessions, and an Elevandi Insights Forum.

  • Global Plenary sessions will focus on leaders and organisations addressing the core construct of Resilient Business Models. 
  • Knowledge Plenary sessions will feature breakout sessions on Web3 and Payments; Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG); Banking for Businesses; Insurance & Pensions; International Growth Markets; and FinTech Regulation.
  • Elevandi Insights Forum will consist of small, deep-dive roundtables which bring the public and private sector together to address challenges faced by the financial sector and identify actionable outcomes. 


4   SFF 2022 will see the return of a physical exhibition featuring over 500 leading organisations, including FinTech firms, financial institutions, technology firms, and policymakers, showcasing their latest innovations and developments in the FinTech space. 

5   The exhibition will include free-to-access Ecosystem Stages for attendees to get up close with the newest technologies, products and launches from industry players. The Ecosystem Stages will feature Product Announcements and Product Showcases from exhibitors; a specially curated ESG Impact Zone; country and sector deep-dives in the World FinTech Festival  [1] ; and finalists’ showcases from the MAS Global FinTech Hackcelerator  [2] and Polyfintech100 API Hackathon  [3] .

Other Highlights 

6   Debuting at SFF is the Elevandi Global Founders Network, an exclusive global influencer programme that identifies exceptional founders, on an annual basis, who are building sustainable and resilient businesses, with a positive impact in the world. The global founders will be chosen through a nomination process, honoured at the SFF and share their 10-minute insights at the Founders Peak

7   Participants can also look forward to the winners’ showcase at the SFF Global FinTech Awards  [4]  and curated networking sessions including an Investors Summit powered by Elevandi Connects  [5] .  

8   Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS and Chairman of Elevandi Board, said, “As the leading global knowledge platform for FinTech, SFF 2022 will focus on bringing best-in-class experts to share industry insights to build business models that remain viable and resilient amid the crisis. The format this year has been enhanced to add numerous intimate and interactive sessions, to foster deeper discussion between the public and private sector stakeholders. The return of an in-person SFF will energise all stakeholders in the FinTech community to stay strong and purposeful despite the strong headwinds ahead of us.”

9   Jean-François Quentin, Group Chief Executive Officer of Constellar, said, “We are delighted to bring the global FinTech community together in Singapore, home to world-class events including SFF. The SFF community is a special one, that has continued to connect and collaborate on our hybrid event platforms in the past two years. With live events back in full capacity, the return of SFF in-person will enable personalised and immersive event experiences to catalyse new innovations, strengthen networks and build impactful partnerships.”

Middle East & North Africa’s Crypto Markets Grow More Than Any Other Region in 2022


Individuals in the MENA region received US$566 billion in cryptocurrency from July 2021 to June 2022, representing a 48% increase over the previous year. This is according to the 2022 Geography of Cryptocurrency report from Chainalysis, the blockchain data platform. While the previous edition of the report found that the MENA accounted for 7% of global cryptocurrency transactions, this year, the figure has risen to 9.2%, making the region the fastest growing crypto market in the world.

Focusing on the UAE, Chainalysis’ researchers found that over the period of the study, the country had US$38 billion in activity, a sizable increase of 36% over transaction volumes in the previous year (US$28 billion). This makes the country the fifth largest crypto market in the region, behind Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. 

Commenting on the findings, Kim Grauer, Director of Research at Chainalysis said, “In recent years, we have seen the UAE government introduce pioneering regulations that are helping accelerate the adoption and utilisation of cryptocurrencies in the country. Dubai has become a hub for crypto companies that serve customers not just in the Middle East, but all across Asia and Africa.”

Kim’s sentiments are echoed by Akos Erzse, Head of Public Policy at the Dubai-based crypto exchange BitOasis, who said, “When you look at markets in the GCC, we take the view that this adoption is driven by young, tech-savvy early adopters with relatively high disposable incomes that are searching for investment options, and have a conviction in crypto right now.” Moreover, adoption is “not just on the retail or customer side, but also in the ecosystem, with financial institutions and banks beginning to work with businesses like us.” Erzse also emphasised the role that recent inflation has played in pushing cryptocurrency adoption.

Other key findings for the period of July 2021 to June 2022 include: 

  • Turkey remains the largest cryptocurrency market in the region, with its citizens having received US$192 billion. This, however, represents slower YoY growth of 10.5% compared to other countries in the region.
  • Cryptocurrency transaction volume in Egypt tripled compared to the preceding year.
  • Saudi Arabia shows a strong potential for cryptocurrency adoption as cryptocurrency transaction volumes in the Kingdom grew by a staggering 195%.

The blog with full findings from the MENA focused section of Chainalysis’ 2022 Geography of Cryptocurrency report can be found here.  

Dubai’s Future Blockchain Summit to create global business opportunities for crypto, metaverse innovators


The Future Blockchain Summit, the MENA region’s longest running exhibition and conference connecting key stakeholders across Blockchain, crypto, and Web 3.0 will return to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 10th-13th October 2022.

An integral part of GITEX Global 2022, the world’s biggest tech and startup event of the year which will feature over 4,500 tech and digital companies from 170 countries, the four-day event will explore topics including the metaverse, Blockchain for enterprise and the future of digital assets. 

The Summit comes at an opportune time for the Middle East region’s development in Blockchain and cryptocurrency – the UAE has positioned itself as a global futuristic innovations’ hub, emphasised with the recent launch of the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority and Dubai Metaverse Strategy, showing the commitment of its government to the implementation and advancement of cutting-edge solutions to the digital economy. 

The Summit is set to provide a major international meeting point for the Blockchain and crypto communities, welcoming more than 600 investors, offering Blockchain, cryptocurrency and metaverse innovators an unrivalled opportunity to accelerate their growth. Day four of the Summit will play host to the North Star Dubai Supernova Challenge, the biggest pitch competition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, offering startups the opportunity to pitch to an audience of global investors and earn potentially transformative capital. 

Leading cryptocurrency exchanges and market makers including OKX, Coinstore, KuCoin, the Hong Kong Digital Assets Exchange, Elliptic, Chainalysis, Coinfirm and Sun Zu Labs will exhibit at the Summit. 

Blockchain protocol specialists Consensys, EOS Network Foundation, Ultron Foundation will also be exhibiting, while there will also be a comprehensive focus on the Metaverse, NFT and gaming with innovators including Sensorium, METAP Japan and Ghost Ivy set to be at the show. 

International experts speaking at the Summit include Aleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine; OG Arabian Prince, Founder, iNov8 Next Open Labs, Founding Member of Legendary Rap Group N.W.A; Lennix Lai, Director, OKX; Scott Page, CEO, Think:EXP, Technologist & Saxophone player for Pink Floyd; Farhad Shagulyamov, CEO, VELAS and many more.

The Future Blockchain Summit 2022 will host an engaging line up of over 100 international speakers comprising business and government leaders who will discuss the most pressing challenges and opportunities in the global Blockchain ecosystem. The Global Leaders Exchange, Crypto, DeFi & Virtual Asset Forum, and Metafest will provide visitors with essential insights and offer a glimpse of the emerging future of the Web.

Visit the event website for more information on the Future Blockchain Summit, as well as registration details.