Cardano MENA Community Digest #1

The participants introduce themselves and discuss various topics related to Cardano and blockchain projects. Kareem, a Lebanese-born Canadian, shares his background in engineering, logistics, and digital transformation. He mentions his involvement with Cardano for the past three years, hosting events and attending the summit. Kareem is currently working on two startups in the Cardano ecosystem. The first project aims to improve the online food ordering business by leveraging blockchain technology, while the second project focuses on enhancing influencer marketing by providing traceability between content creation and sales. Kareem is seeking co-founders and pitching to investors for both ventures. Rami acknowledges Kareem’s proposal and expresses pride in the progress made. Kareem also mentions his role as a digital transformation consultant, where he is building a digital asset custody solution in Abu Dhabi. This custody solution aims to provide secure storage for institutions’ digital assets, regulated and insured to instill confidence and trust. The project involves government entities and is expected to go live later in the year.

The conversation continues with a discussion about the visibility and adoption of Cardano in the business and government communities of the GCC (Gulf) region. Kareem expresses his belief in the value and potential of Cardano and highlights the need for more communication and engagement with government entities and authorities to showcase the benefits of Cardano’s technology. He mentions his efforts to facilitate such conversations in the past and expresses the importance of raising the visibility of Cardano within the region’s digital transformation initiatives. Rami acknowledges the improvements made by the Cardano Foundation in communication and collaboration with ambassadors and emphasizes the significance of the upcoming Cardano summit in Dubai. He appreciates Kareem for voicing his concerns and sees it as an opportunity to convey the message to the wider community. The discussion then shifts to Juana, who is busy with the launch of Fluus, but Rami asks about her workshop on CIP 1694 and requests a briefing on its content and relevance to Cardano adoption in the MENA region.

Fluus is building consumer and developer solutions, starting with a ramping aggregator. They address the issue faced by developers who need to onboard users onto their platforms and integrate various ramping solutions. Fluus aggregates crypto ramping providers, including their own provider for emerging markets, offering alternative payment methods like cash and mobile money. By integrating with Fluus, developers and users gain global access to crypto, including Cardano (ADA), providing a seamless way for users to onboard into platforms using local payment methods. This is beneficial for the MENA region as it enables users in emerging countries to easily access and adopt cryptocurrencies, including Cardano, through local payment methods.

Rami mentioned that many people in Lebanon rely on the Cardano ecosystem to support themselves and their families. He asked if Fluus could help a non-cryptocurrency-focused Forex company aggregate the adoption of cryptocurrency. The response was that if the platform wants its users to be able to buy tokens or cryptocurrencies to utilize within their platform, they can integrate with Fluus’ wrapping solution. Fluus offers a revenue share model and allows users to buy crypto using various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, mobile money, and cash. The selection engine matches users with the most suitable provider based on their location and payment method. Fluus is currently in beta, and users can initiate transactions on the platform. The goal is to provide access to web3 and overcome the hurdle of getting into crypto. Kareem expressed excitement about Fluus’ work and mentioned their project’s focus on leveraging blockchain technology for the backend without directly involving consumers. The conversation highlighted the separation between the infrastructure layer and the consumer layer in the industry. Although Fluus’ website and other projects were not mentioned, Rami expressed interest in checking out the website and sharing it in their Cardano MENA Youtube Channel “ Cardanati”.

The conversation then shifted to the topic of Ledger, and Rami asked for opinions on the recent news related to Ledger. The Fluus, and Cardano MENA Town Hall representative “ Juana “ expressed the difficulty of taking a stance on the issue. They acknowledged the trade-off between making crypto more accessible while potentially compromising decentralization and complete ownership. They mentioned that until technology, user experience, and adoption improve, such trade-offs may continue to occur.
Mr. Kareem also shared their perspective on Ledger, mentioning that while they sympathize with the desire for complete freedom and control in crypto, they understand the need to support users who may not have technical expertise. They suggested that Ledger could have handled the situation better and potentially created a separate product with recovery features to address different user needs. They emphasized the importance of offering solutions that cater to a broader community and make crypto and blockchain as user-friendly as platforms like Google and YouTube.
Overall, the conversation touched on the challenges and considerations in balancing accessibility, decentralization, user experience in the crypto industry, and last but not least Cardano adoption in MENA region.

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