Bitcoin payments firm YellowPay, by some accounts the first industry startup in the Middle East, has shut down for undisclosed reasons according to members of its founding team.

Forming in 2014, YellowPay had sought to promote bitcoin as an e-commerce solution in the Middle East, enlisting a former managing director for PayPal as a senior advisor.

Despite this traction, other sources suggested the startup faced issues with its business model, including a decision to continue to emphasize the benefits of digital currency for online payments, a business strategy that has fallen out of favor with the industry and investors.

Still, the revelation comes amid a positive news cycle for the technology in the region, with the Dubai government officially partnering to host Keynote 2016, a blockchain-focused conference to be held 30th May.

Further, the news comes as another Yellow founder and former advisor Ola Doudin raised an undisclosed seed round for a regional startup called BitOasis. Investors in the deal include MENA-focused VC firm Wamda Capital and regional payment processor PayFort.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in YellowPay.

Dirhams image via Shutterstock

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.