Digital Journal

MidChains promotes diversity in a male-dominated field


In a collaboration with Zex PR, Henzelene Heally interviewed Tara Namdar, Director of Business Development at MidChains at DIFC Fintech Summit in Dubai. 

See full Interview here: 

MidChains, a virtual asset trading platform and custodian based in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). It was one of the first licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) under the virtual asset regulatory framework. Namdar has a diverse background and holds a bachelor’s degree in business & economics from Luleå University.

MidChains is a Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and a custodian. This also facilitates spot trading, especially as it has about 20 tokens listed. The three-year licensing process culminated in its first trade in September 2021. The benefit of being a custodian is that it allows MidChains to act as a regional exchange, notes Namdar. 

“There are a lot of, let us say, institutions that also would like to be a custodian in the country where they feel confident in not having their assets held offshore somewhere or perhaps even in a wallet. They want someone at an institutional level to be able to hold their assets securely in the country,” says Namdar.

What makes MidChains stand out in the sector is that it is largely a female team. “I always enjoy seeing women in the space because it is still a very male-dominated industry,” says Namdar, adding that diversity is welcome to introduce different perspectives, especially as she has been involved in crypto since 2017.

“I wanted to do my thesis on crypto and blockchain and my professor stated there was insufficient research,” says Namdar, who became serious about the industry in 2021. “I was doing my own thing as well while working full time. I was focused on crypto because I was trading and making good money.” However, this emphasized the need for legitimacy and credibility in the industry. “I think the regulator has quite a lot of work to do in regulating the industry. There is so much happening.”

This is particularly related to hype coins and unregulated exchanges. “Consumers basically have no idea what terms and conditions they are accepting, or what they are agreeing to.” The result was that many people began associating crypto with Ponzi schemes rather than another investment opportunity in the financial service industry. Namdar says a lot of crypto trades are based on hype, which increases investors’ risk profile. “People invest blindly in the hope of a quick return. It is like an adrenaline rush,” says Namdar, adding that the industry needs education and awareness.

“I think there needs to be a huge educational drive and basically it needs to be taught in universities. These things need to be taught in universities.” Namdar stresses that another critical aspect is consumer protection. “That is important, especially as blockchain is still an innovative technology. I feel maybe regulators are not up to date as it so fast-moving and new. I mean, sometimes even I have a hard time keeping track.” Namdar adds that while regulation needs to be balanced against consumer protection, it should not stifle business innovation. It is a very hard task for the regulators to be able to strike such a balance,” she concludes.

Interview by Henzelene Heally

Henzie Healley is a common law qualified lawyer living in Dubai and services clients globally. Healley founded her first legal consultancy in 2019, evolving into The Counsel Services (TCS). She is qualified with an LLB with Honors in New Zealand and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 2014. Healley started her journey in Web3.0/Blockchain and digital assets in 2017 when setting up a crypto exchange in the UAE. In 2021 she was the legal counsel of a crypto mining company in the UAE and a virtual asset VC fund with USD100m in AUM. With over five years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Henzie and her team of lawyers have played a pivotal role in the growth and success of many companies in the Middle East region by providing legal guidance and support from seed, inception, to series rounds and IPO or exit.


Vikas kaushik
Tech Junkie is a small word for Vikas Kaushik. Whether the latest game on the market or a new gadget launch he is the go-to person. He drives his motivation from the fast-paced technological advancements. He ensures that the right news reaches niche audiences. An avid biker and movie buff he has deep-rooted faith in upcoming technological inventions and is a torchbearer for the tech revolution.

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