Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Economy has announced that US-based Fluent Finance, the developer of a cryptocurrency-based payment platform that facilitates cross-border trade, has joined its NextGen FDI program. The web3 company, which was founded in Delaware in 2020, plans to launch operations in Abu Dhabi and plans to grow its workforce to between 100-125 people within five years.
Fluent will use its new UAE headquarters to deploy and scale its proprietary Fluent Economic Bridge, which can be used by importers and exporters to settle transactions via a bank-issued cryptocurrency, which are known as stablecoins or, increasingly, deposit tokens. By working with banks and regulators in the UAE capital, Fluent believes its platform offers the immediacy and transparency of cryptocurrency with the security and regulatory structure of the traditional banking system. They are already piloting the platform in Kenya, and now hope to develop a digital trade corridor with the UAE.
Fluent’s technology-led approach towards trade aligns with the Ministry of Economy’s TradeTech Initiative, in which they have partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to promote the use of advanced technology tools in global supply chains, and also the country’s Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement program, which aims to achieve frictionless trade between the UAE and an increasing number of nations across the world.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said Fluent’s participation in the NextGen FDI initiative underlines the UAE’s status as a hub for global trade and a supportive ecosystem for new technologies such as blockchain: “The UAE has become a prominent advocate for the modernization of the multilateral trading system, as well as a supportive place for the development of the tools and applications that can deliver it. I am optimistic about the possibilities of the Fluent Economic Bridge, and the potential for digital currencies to improve the efficiency and accessibility of global supply chains. In the build-up to the World Trade Organisation’s 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi in February next year, encouraging platforms such as those developed by Fluent will offer an important proof point for the UAE’s leadership on trade technology.”
Bradley Allgood, Fluent Finance’s Chief Executive Officer, said the UAE was the obvious place in which to launch Fluent Economic Bridge. “The UAE offers exactly the kind of supportive, enabling environment that Web3 companies such as Fluent require. The combination of thoughtful regulation, forward-looking vision and advanced technology ambitions means we have the right foundations on which to develop our product and grow our organization. Importantly, this is also an important trade crossroads, which provides a multitude of opportunities to deploy our platform. We genuinely believe that, with the right support, we can transform Fluent Economic Bridge into the next unicorn.”
Launched in 2022, NextGen FDI aims to support the growth of the nation’s knowledge-driven economy by enabling rapid incorporation processes to speed up licensing, facilitating the issuance of bulk or golden visas, accelerating banking services, and providing commercial and residential lease incentives for advanced technology companies seeking to relocate to the UAE.