A Dubai-based blockchain startup announced on Monday the launch of a new digital portal for cryptocurrencies trading, its CEO said.

Arabian Chain is a Dubai-based startup founded in February last year by a group of Saudi entrepreneurs including its founder and CEO Mohammed Alsehli, 30.

“The aim of Palmex is to deal with the users already in the market to make them trade in an easy way and also help attract new users ... and we do many awareness meetings in different countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia  and also there will be others in Bahrain, Kuwait and in Egypt and Morocco,” Alsehli said at a press conference in Dubai on the sidelines of the Unlock Blockchain conference at the Ritz Carlton hotel in DIFC.

However, Alsehli said his company is not a financial institution and that users are advised to carry out their own research and financial consultations.

The Palmex platform will allow registered users to deposit and trade in a number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereuem, the two most valuable cryptocurrencies.

The platform will offer its own brand of cryptocurrency called DubaiCoin. Alsehli said that he believes that DubaiCoin will be the fuel of the network. “A digital currency that will be traded in the market and have a digital value,” he said.

Alsehli said the Palmex platform will be asset-backed, which will allow its users to list their assets and use them in trading. He said the platform will offer free fees for trading until February and then later impose a 0.3 percent trading fee on purchases and sales.

He said that assets could be represented as digital tokens on the platform and users can buy and sell using their assets.

He also said that it is not yet clear if the cryptocurrencies traded will be subject to the value-added tax recently implemented on an array of goods and services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Palmex is not the first cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East, as there are others in Dubai and Cairo. The best known exchange, BitOasis, was founded in Dubai in 2016 by Ola Doudin, a female Jordanian entrepreneur.

“Crypotcurrency is here to stay. Cryptocurrency is the future,” Alsehli said

For more on the bitcoin phenomenon, click here.

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Michael Fahy)


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