Dubai expects more than 1,000 cryptocurrency businesses to be operational by 2022, said the chief of the Dubai Blockchain Centre at Gitex Global in Dubai. A growing number of institutional investors and wealth managers plan to increase their exposure to crypto-assets between now and 2023, which accelerates efforts to boost its digital economy.
Free zones in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have implemented an advanced framework to encourage entrepreneurs in the crypto space to set up exchanges by laying out rules to protect investors. Accelerating efforts to boost its digital economy, Dubai expects more than 1,000 cryptocurrency businesses to be operational by 2022.
Dr. Marwan Al Zahrouni, chief executive of the Dubai Blockchain Centre, explained it at a conference held during Gitex Global in Dubai.
“Five years ago you wouldn’t see people coming to Dubai to do the cryptocurrency business … we’re open-minded, and we’re willing to change regulations with reason,” he said.
According to a survey by Nickel Digital Asset Management, based in London, a growing number of institutional investors and wealth managers in the UAE plan to increase their exposure to cryptocurrency assets between now and 2023. Amid the rising interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the UAE, consumers and investors flock to digital assets with online payments gaining pace.
Now, cryptocurrencies are not licensed by the UAE Central Bank, as the UAE dirham is the only legal tender in the country recognized by the Central Bank. Although, the UAE regulator is permitted many cryptocurrency exchanges to operate within the financial free zones.
Launched in May to promote cryptographic and blockchain technologies in Dubai, The DMCC Crypto Centre now is home to more than 100 organizations operating in the crypto space, while above 900 more have applied for licenses. More than 400 crypto businesses are currently operating in the UAE.
Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief of the DMCC, expressed confidence that there will be “well over” 1,000 crypto businesses in the UAE by the end of 2022.
Also, during a conference, Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief of the DMCC, expressed confidence that there will be “well over” 1,000 crypto businesses in the UAE by the end of 2022.
Digital assets, built around the secure blockchain database infrastructure, are enjoying heightened interest from investors owing to their potentially high returns. Although, experts have often criticized crypto assets like Bitcoin for their volatility.
In turn, Ralf Glabischnig, founder and board member of Swiss crypto hub CV Labs, which also has a crypto center at the DMCC, predicted that the market in Dubai will “grow faster compared to anywhere else,” explaining the current interest from investors and entrepreneurs in the emirate’s business environment.
“The most important thing when you create a new industry is a talent. A lot of smart people came to Dubai and stayed here,” he said.
The UAE has introduced various measures to boost digital assets trading amid rising interest. Last month, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) signed a deal with the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) to support the trading of crypto assets.
Last month, Dubai also hosted the first Crypto Expo Dubai. This comes as investors’ interest in crypto assets soars in the region.
MidChains, a virtual asset trading exchange based in Abu Dhabi backed by Mubadala Investment Company, said it completed its first trades on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash in September. Bahrain cryptocurrency platform Rain Management said earlier this year that trading volumes crossed the $1 billion mark.
BitOasis, another UAE crypto asset exchange, earlier this month said it raised $30 million in a Series B funding round, which it will use to expand in the Middle East and North Africa.