UAE-based bitcoin payments firm YellowPay has reportedly closed its doors. While there is no announcements on official YellowPay social media channels, CoinDesk reports that YellowPay founding members have decided to close the company for “undisclosed reasons”.
The firm was founded in 2014 by David El Achkar, a former Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, and James Piechota, a Software Engineer at California-based payment technology firm Payjoy. In July of 2015, YellowPay also received an undisclosed amount of seed capital from Digital Currency Group.
Additionally, on May 23, 2015, YellowPay welcomed Elias Ghanem – who served as PayPal Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa – as an advisor. But despite the financial support and high-profile advisor appointments, YellowPay’s founders have decided to close shop.
In one of his blog posts from last year, David El Achkar pointed to the favorable demographics and inadequate financial systems in the Middle East and North Africa, as proof that the MENA region is primed for disruption from new payment technologies like digital currencies.
David El Achkar wrote:
“As you may have already guessed, all of these point to great opportunities for Bitcoin to augment or disrupt. We won’t dive into much of the details of how Bitcoin can achieve this in this post, but suffice it to say, that with Bitcoin, anyone that has access to a phone, which is more than 90% of the population in the region,”
At this point, it is unclear what combination of factors cause this promising startup to close its doors. However, the upcoming Keynote 2016 blockchain/bitcoin conference at the Burj al Arab – one of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai – will undoubtedly raise awareness about digital currencies in the region.
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