Crypto spot and derivatives exchange Bybit has reinforced its Middle Eastern credentials by inking a memorandum of understanding with the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The agreement with the United Arab Emirates seat of learning will support a scholarship in which Bybit is to contribute AED 1 million (US$272,000).
The AUS collaboration with Bybit is the first of its kind and a further demonstration to the world that the United Arab Emirates is open for crypto business. The scholarship fund provided by Bybit will support the education of 20 students at the university as they carve out careers in fintech and blockchain.
Bybit Digs Deep to Further Crypto Education
The agreement enacted between Bybit and the AUS will enable blockchain students to rapidly get up and running; there are plans for the first scholarship grants to be disbursed this fall when the academic year starts. Computer science and computer engineering students who apply and are deemed eligible will have their tuition fees paid by the Bybit Scholarship.
In addition to the AED 1 million scholarship fund, Bybit has pledged an additional AED 100,000 to sponsor a hackathon at the American University of Sharjah. This will be open to the local blockchain community, providing a testbed for innovative ideas to flourish and giving developers a chance to demonstrate not only their coding skills, but all their out-the-box thinking.
Hackathons have proven a successful means of incubating crypto startups and giving developers a leg up on their blockchain journey. Over the years, numerous successful DeFi projects have been spun out of hackathons, where the best ideas can sometimes receive additional funding to turn a proof of concept into a working prototype. The maiden AUS-Bybit Inter-College Hackathon will take place at the AUS College of Engineering during the 2023-2024 academic year.
“Younger generations hold the key in driving the blockchain revolution forward,” said Bybit CEO Ben Zhou. “We are pleased to create the Bybit Scholarship at AUS to help their talented students future-proof their knowledge and skills. We thank AUS for the opportunities to raise crypto awareness and share first-hand knowledge of the industry with students from one of the most prestigious universities in the region. I look forward to being inspired by the future engineers, blockchain scientists, and Web3 startup founders.”
Crypto’s Big Hitters Eye the Middle East
Bybit’s decision to support the initiative in the UAE arrives at a time when investment is pouring into the Middle East from a number of crypto exchanges intent on establishing a regional presence. While some have been attracted by the massive demand for digital assets across the region, others have been swayed by the hostile regulatory landscape elsewhere, particularly in the US.
In April, Bybit opened its new headquarters in Dubai, the Middle Eastern stronghold for an increasing number of crypto companies. The city’s business-friendly credentials, world-class amenities, and excellent travel links have made it a favorite with crypto firms seeking a stable base of operations. The new Bybit HQ occupies an entire floor of One Central in the prestigious Dubai World Trade Center.
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