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Ex-SoftBank executive sets up UAE stablecoin pegged to dirham


Ex-SoftBank executive sets up UAE stablecoin, teams up with Hong Kong firm to target high-net-worth users

Akshay Naheta, who pitched SoftBank on selling chip firm Arm to Nvidia, set up his stablecoin firm DTR in Abu Dhabi’s financial free zoneHong Kong-based DRAM Trust is a partner on the project, which could appeal to people from high-inflation countries and provide an alternative to SWIFTDigital currenciesBloombergPublished: 11:47am, 2 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Akshay Naheta, a former SoftBank Group executive who steered some of the firm’s biggest deals, is launching a new company in Abu Dhabi focusing on stablecoin technology.

The 42-year-old financier has set up DTR within the emirate’s international financial free zone and will partner on the project with Hong Kong-based DRAM Trust, which has ties to several high-net-worth individuals. They’re looking to capitalise on a stablecoin market that analysts at Bernstein estimate will grow more than 20-fold to US$2.8 trillion in five years.

Unlike most coins in the market that are tied to the US dollar, DRAM coins will be backed by the United Arab Emirates dirham. The currency’s peg to the greenback offers greater stability for individuals in high-inflation countries from Turkey to Egypt and Pakistan, while also providing an alternative to the SWIFT system.

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“Our main focus is the unbanked and underbanked in these nations,” Naheta said in an interview from Dubai. “If you want to diversify your risk and be in a currency that’s complimentary to the dollar, there’s a big percentage of money that can move into this.”

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