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Cryptocurrency Fintech Middle East & Africa Spotlight

Spotlight MEA: Evai CEO on the Cryptocurrency Market

The changes happening in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) with respect to fintech and wider digital transformation have been noted. The FinTech Times sits down with Matthew Dixon, CEO and Founder, Evai.io to discuss the cryptocurrency market.

Matt Dixon, CEO and Founder of Evai.io has over 30 years of experience in the financial services sector. A former consultant to the World Bank and FCA CF30 accredited financial advisor, he has been inspired to use his experience to bridge the worlds of traditional finance and digital asset investment. 

Over the last two years, Matt has evolved the Evai cryptocurrency ratings concept from an exploratory whitepaper into a fully-fledged crypto technology company that has attracted over $5million in funding and currently employs 50 staff. The sellout funding rounds have enabled the Evai team to fast track the ratings platform development with the Evai Ratings launching in May 2021.

For our global audience, can you explain what the digital and fintech landscape across the globe currently looks like 

The global cryptocurrency market is currently valued at around $2 trillion and consists of over 10,000 crypto assets. The number of people holding cryptocurrencies is estimated at well over 200 million people worldwide and has been accelerating fast during the Covid economic era. 

In the last year, cryptocurrency adoption has been led by a range of factors including the entrance of major financial players like PayPal, Visa and Mastercard who have entered the space along with institutional investors waking up to the possibilities the market offers. 

Regions that have experienced significant growth and increased adoption include the UK, USA, Asia and UAE, while some countries have even gone as far as to make Bitcoin their legal tender as we have seen with El Salvador. 

Around the world, the growing appetite and enthusiasm for crypto-asset investments need to be matched with reliable and unbiased sources of information to allow investors to make informed decisions about their next trade. While investors can get caught up in the FOMO of a bull market cycle it’s important they undertake their own research and consult a range of trusted sources before they commit any funds.

How does this alter in your country? 

The Evai team is spread across three countries with offices in London, Singapore and more recently Dubai within the new DMCC Crypto Centre. Each location offers a differing regulatory landscape that we seek to embrace, but the overriding trend we encounter is the increased adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

While more people are getting into the space their knowledge of what they are investing in and a general understanding of the space can be limited and that’s where we feel Evai has an important role to play. 

By using artificial intelligence and machine learning, our crypto-asset ratings are not driven by hype or any vested interest in promoting a specific project. We have set out with the goal of providing unbiased and impartial ratings that are generated using industry-leading economic research, AI and machine learning. The ratings are a valuable source of intelligence for crypto investors of all levels around the world, whether they are making their first trade or acting on behalf of a hedge fund looking to diversify their client’s portfolio. 

How have you developed your subject matter expertise and helped to share it across in your base country? 

The Evai ratings platform is built on the academic research of a UK based Professor of Finance, Andros Gregoriou, who has written over 100 peer-reviewed research papers and is an advisor to the Bank of England. Evai.io utilises AI and intelligent machine learning to evaluate the real-time value of cryptoassets, before awarding each a performance-based rating. 

Evai.io was developed to democratise the crypto landscape using cutting-edge AI and machine learning technology that removes human bias. With over 10,000 assets, it can be hard for investors to gauge which crypto investment opportunities stand up to economic scrutiny. We solve that issue by rigorously evaluating each asset and giving investors the tools to identify long term value. 

Through peer-reviewed financial research and economic modelling, the platform rates DeFi, crypto and NFT based assets by running their real-time data against a range of ‘Power Factors.’ The economic factors include market risk, momentum and liquidity and are quantified via a range of risk-adjusted return ratios, pricing factors as well as Evai’s exclusive illiquidity measure. Launched with over 700 live assets fully rated, the number of cryptocurrencies available will scale up dramatically to over 2,000 by the end of 2021. 

What are future trends and predictions you see happening?

Bitcoin and the wider crypto-asset market is firmly on the agenda of institutional investors and we anticipate the momentum will continue as the likes of JP Morgan give the green light to their wealth managers to access institutional Bitcoin and crypto funds. Previous bull runs in the crypto-asset market have been driven by retail investors and FOMO, but what we are starting to see now is a steady influx of institutional investors and high-profile crypto funds diversifying their offerings beyond Bitcoin.

Managing funds in the traditional financial sector, I’ve always been a firm believer in the diversification of clients’ portfolios and the case for including crypto assets is a strong one. 

Over the coming weeks, Evai will launch EvaiFund, a market-leading investment portfolio that will be governed by AI. Evai’s unique unbiased ratings, coupled with AI and machine learning will be used to autonomously optimise the fund’s holdings while dynamically rebalancing asset allocations in real-time. For example, the fund may hold assets rated A1, A2, A3, B1 and potentially B2. When an asset is downgraded to B3 or below, AI-based algo trading would close the position and remove the asset from the fund. Likewise, it will open new positions for upgraded assets which fit the criteria or parameters set, further diversifying the fund.

The wider application of blockchain and cryptocurrency across a range of sectors will be exciting to watch over the next 5 years. For a long time, a large majority of people have viewed cryptocurrency through the lens of Bitcoin and its headline-grabbing price action. What I’m certain we are going to see is more and more people coming into contact with cryptocurrency and blockchain through everyday interactions whether that be via a fan token linked to a world-renowned football team they support or the cryptocurrency used to purchase items in a video game. 

Outside of the sport and entertainment space, the role cryptocurrency and blockchain can play within the property sector will be transformational for property developers, real estate agents and even home buyers. The tokenisation of property has the potential to open up a world of new possibilities in Dubai. 

Any advice or recommendations you would give to other future fintech companies and entrepreneurs based in the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region? 

Since opening the Evai office in the DMCC Crypto Centre and becoming the first global partner of CV Labs, we have been collaborating with a like-minded community of innovators who are shaping the future of finance. The ecosystem developed by DMCC and CV Labs is world-leading and offers crypto businesses like Evai the opportunity to work within a regulatory framework we support and believe is needed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. 

The research behind our crypto-asset ratings platform was developed in the UK, but the opportunity to scale and meet our future ambitions will be realised in the UAE region. For our founders and rapidly growing team the region provides the perfect convergence of innovation, ambition and talent

Author

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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