Financial services, Startup, Technology

JadoPado founder pulls the plug on Middle East crypto exchange firm

Omar Kassim

Digital entrepreneur Omar Kassim has halted plans to create a new cryptocurrency exchange in the UAE.

Earlier this year, Kassim had announced plans to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange called BitPado at an unspecified location in the region, with “at least some of it” based out of Dubai.

Speaking exclusively to in January, he said, “BitPado is an upcoming crypto exchange for the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We’re seeing a significant demand from across the region at this time for crypto exchanges.”

BitPado was supposed to offer an exchange and OTC (over the counter) trades in cryptocurrencies.

In a blog post published by Kassim recently, he said that “after having spent a number of months researching and working on an early product, we have decided to park any further development of BitPado”, citing regulatory and banking challenges, as well as waning interest in the cryptocurrency space as asset prices decline.

“After having spent a number of months researching and working on an early product, we have unfortunately decided to park any further development of BitPado, given a myriad of regulatory and banking challenges in a number of the markets that we were looking to target,” he wrote. “From the outset it was clear that we needed to solve for product, regulation, and banking. Whilst no one expected it to be an easy ride, the depth of resistance in cracking through some of the key problems has been far greater than we initially anticipated.

“Whilst we sincerely appreciate the support of the almost two thousand individuals that signed up to our mailing list — before we pulled the plug on it in late April, we’re going to sit this one out. We continue to keep half an eye on development in the space, but we’re formally moving back over to consumer tech and its ilk.”

Kassim has also reportedly dropped the idea to build a blockchain-based business offering fractional real estate ownership citing a lack of regional infrastructure. However, he said that he has “kept building other stuff”, including a new mobile payments product known as Lunatap.

“We’ve got one project out and we’ve got another couple in the pipeline. We’re continuing to build stuff – we like building products,” he said in an interview with local media.

Last year, Kassim sold the e-commerce site he founded JadoPado to



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