Global crypto study: One-third of Emiratis own cryptocurrency

    06 Apr 2022

    According to the new Gemini study, one-third of Emiratis and Israelis own crypto. Meanwhile, globally crypto ownership is the highest in Brazil and Indonesia. Also, nearly 40% of global respondents first bought cryptocurrency last year.

    New York-based crypto exchange Gemini published the “Global state of crypto” report following what it said was a pivotal year for digital currencies. The exchange conducted a poll of people in various countries to determine worldwide rates of cryptocurrency ownership and related findings.

    Gemini’s report revealed that 35% of people in the United Arab Emirates and 28% of people in Israel own cryptocurrency. The UAE and Israel are the only Middle Eastern countries included in the study. Gemini polled more than 1,200 people each in the Emirates and Israel.

    In the UAE, 68% of the respondents who reported owning crypto are male. In Israel, meanwhile, 51% of cryptocurrency owners are female.

    Cryptocurrency is taking off in both the Gulf state and Israel. In March, Israel’s Bank Leumi became the first traditional bank in the country to allow customers to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Also last month, the Israeli cryptocurrency exchange Coinmama was bought out for assets totaling more than $35 million by Canada’s Wellfield Technologies. Coinmama has more than 3.5 million users.

    Meantime, in the UAE, two major crypto platforms — Bybit and — announced in March they will soon open offices in Dubai.

    According to Gemini, the growth of cryptocurrency in the region has been aided by increased venture capital investment in blockchain technology.

    Emerging government regulation could be a risk for cryptocurrency’s future growth in the Middle East region. Gemini’s report revealed that 30% of the people they polled in the countries said tax complexities have stopped them from investing in crypto.

    Israeli authorities have openly said they want the market to be more regulated, and the crypto exchange Binance was recently suspended in the country, Al-Monitor reported.

    On the contrary, the UAE could be poised for further growth despite potential regulatory uncertainty, the report said. Gemini’s poll noted that 32% of non-owners in the country are likely to purchase some cryptocurrency this year.

    In a global view, roughly 40% of crypto owners around the world surveyed by crypto platform Gemini first bought digital assets in 2021.

    Slightly more than half of the respondents in India, Brazil, and Hong Kong made their first purchases last year. That number was roughly 45% in the United States, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific, and was about 40% in Europe.

    Overall, cryptocurrency ownership is highest in Brazil and Indonesia, with about 41% owning such assets in each country. This number is 20% in the US and 18% in the United Kingdom.

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