The Middle East accepts crypto with open arms. Some significant crypto exchanges are rushing to set up their headquarters in Dubai as the city becomes one of the most critical hubs of web 3.0.
Binance and, more important, crypto exchanges have moved their headquarters to Dubai. This will definitely lead to more and more similar moves from other crypto entities in the near future. Dubai also has new crypto regulation, which will only promote the mass adoption of the digital assets and their underlying technology, the blockchain.
Mass crypto adoption has been one of the most important goals that the crypto industry has set, and there have been a lot of moves made in this direction. They will continue, and the adoption wave will keep growing stronger.
Digital assets have been making headlines in the financial context for a while now, especially in the scenery of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The official reports noted that the Ukrainian government managed to raise millions of dollars in order to fund the fight against the Russian invasion. They turned the spotlight on digital assets.
Dubai steps up its crypto game – Case studies: Binance and BitOasis
Binance moves its headquarters to the UAE, and BitOasis follows suit
Not too long ago, the crypto space became overly excited when Binance made a great announcement. Binance will reportedly offer its products to big institutions and accredited investors in the first phase of its operation in Dubai.
This is what the regional head of MENA, Richard Teng, told Arab News.
He continued and said that the team wants to become the platform that builds tools bringing faster crypto adoption.
Their goal is also to improve the freedom of money in the region. Teng said this and then added that the company plans to serve a more extensive clientele by offering more products.
All these prospects look amazing, and the crypto exchange recently received the official license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority.
The company is now able to operate and expand in the region under the emirate’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ model for digital asset markets.
“It is an extremely innovative approach from the Dubai government. It recognizes that crypto is quite different from securities, digital tokens, and commodities and proposes a dedicated framework that can serve different parts of the value chain, manage risks and support innovation,” he added.
According to the online publication Arab News, Teng’s massive confidence is not based on his hardwired optimism.
The official notes reveal that he has spent 20 years in the regulatory space and understands the region well. He used to be the CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market for six years.
This was before he took over the mantle of the regional head of one of the world’s largest crypto platforms.
Teng said: “Working with the Dubai government you realize how well the country supports innovation, crypto adoption, and blockchain development, which is helpful since these factors will become the pillars of several segments of the economy in the future.”
He also added the following: “Cryptos will be the future of finance and financial services. They are playing an important role in cross-border payments,” said Teng.
He also added that this currently poses a massive challenge because the fees for making payments across borders are incredibly high.
Binance has been making massive efforts to work toward a crypto-friendly ecosystem that manages to be inclusive, secure, and also transparent.
One important issue to mention is the fact that back in December, the company signed a partnership deal with Dubai World Trade Center Authority. The move was to help it set up and regulate an international virtual asset ecosystem.
It’s pretty obvious that this makes it an excellent case for a public-private partnership in the digital space. The crypto exchange is also hiring 100 positions in the UAE to keep up the momentum in the region.
“We are working closely with institutions to make sure the next generation is ready for crypto, blockchain and tokenomics,” he said.
It’s also worth noting the fact that the company will soon be introducing training programs in the region on the markets and how to trade responsibly.
All of this is a part of a massive effort to set more and more faith in crypto. This cannot be achieved without regulation because regulation is the trigger that can bring big players into the crypto game.
In this direction, Binance is currently running an emergency insurance fund that protects customers, called Secure Asset Fund for Users, or SAFU. This entity was launched back in 2018, and the fund now stands at over $1 billion. If any user suffers a loss due to illegal activity such as hacking, the company compensates for the loss.
Making such essential efforts to bring more faith to the crypto space is necessary, especially since there’s a considerable amount of skepticism among the potential investors about the concept of a decentralized world of finance and its high volatility.
But it’s also vital to note the fact that it’s a matter of time when mature businesses and nations embrace the innate strengths of the crypto business and profit from it.
The story of BitOasis crypto exchange
The National News also brings up the interesting story of BitOasis. The UAE’s home-grown crypto trading platform is seeing expansion in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, according to chief executive Ola Doudin.
Doudin is an accidental entrepreneur, according to the online publication, who did not like the corporate culture.
They also note the interesting fact that she decided to hop in the crypto wagon back in 2015. Despite the controversies that are surrounding the crypto space, she and a co-founder managed to build a business that has carried out crypto traders above $4 billion.
It’s been also reported that the massive success of BitOasis is the result of sheer dedication and tons of really hard work. The project grew from a side one that Doudin had with crypto enthusiast Daniel Robenek into one of the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest crypto trading platform.
On the other hand, she had no time to rest as the evolution of regulations across jurisdictions is opening up new avenues of growth for the company in the Mena region and beyond, Doudin said.
She also noted the fact that full-time jobs were not at all what she wanted and said that such a thing would not allow her to flourish.
After that, she began working on entrepreneurship initiatives with Aramex founder Fadi Ghandour. During her research into start-ups and FinTech ventures on different models of payments when Doudin developed an interest in Bitcoin and the tech behind the digital assets, the blockchain.
Realizing how disruptive the tech is and how high the potential of the digital assets is, she reached all kinds of crypto enthusiast meetings in Beirut, Amman, and Dubai.
Back then, during one of those meetings at Souk Al Bahar in Dubai, she met Mr. Robenek, BitOasis’s chief technology officer and the engineering brain behind the platform’s system security. He dropped out of his doctoral program to join the venture.
They discussed all kinds of juicy subjects during the meetings, including themes about accessibility, buying and selling Bitcoin locally.
She said that it’s obvious that people want to buy. Founders were convinced that with technology adoption, there was a “huge use-case for cryptocurrencies and that necessitated a platform to buy, sell and store crypto assets safely.”
She said that this is how the exchange started.
BitOasis was launched back in 2015, and it has come a long way from being a “minimum viable product,” and so has the crypto market in the Middle East.
The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in the world, and according to official data, “Turkey had the highest transaction volume at $132.4bn during the July 2020 to June 2021 period. The UAE is in third place behind Turkey and Lebanon, with a transaction volume of $25.5bn.”
The massive boost of the regional market is reflected in the rapid growth of BitOasis. This venture started with Bitcoin only, and today, investors of the platform can trade over 40 cryptos.
The main focus is on retail investors, but the company refined its offerings to serve institutional investors as well.
This trading platform allows investors to buy, sell and also swap cryptos and manage their portfolios as well.
BitOasis is simplifying crypto trading, that’s for sure. Since the start of this year, BitOasis has added more than 20 tokens to its platform.
Hopes for more growth are even stronger as in the past 18 months, the level of adoption of crypto assets in the Middle East has surpassed the global average two times over.
She made sure to highlight the fact that the level of adoption across the Mena region is 1,500% in terms of growth. This is compared to the 800% in terms of growth in a global region.
The same online publication mentioned above also has a section called “Q&A with Ola Doudin, co-founder and chief executive of BitOasis.”
Here’s one relevant question that she was asked: “What is your entrepreneurial philosophy — are you a risk-taker or a cautious businessperson?”
The answer was that she started the exchange believing that crypto can change the way we transact, save, and invest as well.
According to her, the regional crypto space is buzzing with activity now. She said that back in 2015, the idea of launching a regional crypto exchange was very new. But now, things are obviously different.
She continued and said this:
“There was definitely an element of risk to consider, especially since no one could predict what regulation was going to look like in the near future and how that could impact the industry. So yes, overall, you could call me a risk-taker.”
Another interesting question that we believe is relevant in our case is the following:
“What new skills have you learnt in the process of launching BitOasis?”
She responded by revealing the skills that she had learned along the way. She said that in an industry like crypto, people need to be proactive and learn quickly in order to adapt to new developments.
She also said that even before a regulatory structure was in place, BitOasis “meticulously self-regulated to ensure the platform was at par with some of the best crypto asset exchange platforms in the world.”
She mentioned the fact that this move played a massive role in regulators seeing their value and understanding the fact that the exchange is trustworthy.
The team also adapted to the evolving regulatory frameworks in order to ensure continuous growth.
All of this was taken care of while staying compliant and providing the highest level of consumer protection. This comes following new regulations that Dubai embraced recently, and we also addressed as well.
Huge shifts of Dubai in the crypto space
These important moves that have been made by Binance and BitOasis are only mirroring the massive shifts that Dubai has seen in the crypto space.
People have been migrating to this crypto location for a while now, and it seems that this trend is only intensifying due to the multiple benefits that come to Dubai regarding the crypto space.
The mass adoption of crypto and their underlying tech has been flourishing in Dubai, and this will definitely continue.
The blockchain is an innovative technology that does not stop impressing the financial space and the business industry as well.
Binance boosts Middle East expansion with Abu Dhabi approval
Binance made a massive move when it moved its headquarters to Dubai. It also obtained a provisional green light from Abu Dhabi regulators, and it managed to deepen its expansion in the Middle East as well.
It’s important to note the fact that it was approved “in principle” by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets.
The firm also made sure to say that the move is an initial step toward becoming a “fully-regulated virtual asset service provider” in the city.
As we already said, this is the second city Binance has secured approval from — the company received a crypto license in Dubai last month. The move also comes after Binance was authorized in Bahrain by the country’s central bank.
Binance pushed into the Middle East market following getting a not-too-warm welcome in other vital locations.
For instance, as CNBC notes, in the U.K., regulators placed restrictions on the firm, barring it from undertaking any regulated activity.
Also, it’s interesting to note the fact that in Singapore, it limited its service after the country’s central bank warned it might be in violation of local payment laws.
As a response to a tweet from CNBC, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said the company is “not shunned elsewhere” and that there’s “more to come.”
Binance used to be famous for tending to operate independently of other local regulations.
The CEO used to show his pride for not having an official headquarter, but as a response to global regulators, Binance now says that it wants to become a regulated business.
The UAE tackles risks from DeFi with massive efforts
The UAE is placed at the forefront of innovation and emerging tech, and it will definitely witness more global players descend on the desert to set up more crypto companies here.
This means that investors there will have more and more chances to have a vast palette of choices regarding crypto platforms.
The ones we mentioned above are already making a massive regional presence, and the investor sentiment is definitely at its peak with the nation witnessing disruptive investment options.
The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has so far 11 fully licensed and approved in-principle virtual asset players in its community.
“Since ADGM introduced its virtual assets guidelines in 2017 and launched the world’s first fully comprehensive virtual assets regulatory framework and regime in 2018, we have seen a growing number of local, regional, and global players anchoring their presence and providing virtual assets activities and related services in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and across Mena,” a spokesperson said.
“This, in turn, attracted a heightened level of retail and institutional investors’ interest and investment. In addition, ADGM has also earlier introduced its regulatory sandbox and fintech Digital Lab to encourage and assist fintech firms in testing their products in a “live” environment, and also to ensure that its fintech firms understand and comply with the UAE’s rigorous AML and KYC compliance standards,” said ADGM spokesperson.
ADGM is searching for market feedback on its proposed enhanced virtual asset framework and allowing regulated multilateral trading facilities or custodian groups within the ADGM to conduct non-fungible token (NFT) activities.
“Over the years, the UAE has also doubled its efforts to provide a supportive environment and regulatory framework for digital assets and blockchain.” These are part of collective efforts to boost global mass crypto adoption.
It’s also important to note the fact that recently, The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has issued a discussion paper on DeFi, in order to engage with industry practitioners and other stakeholders to explore the potential opportunities arising from decentralized finance (DeFi), associated risks and what a future regulatory framework may resemble.
An international online market research company called Toluna managed to conduct a global study to understand consumers’ perceptions of digital assets. They interviewed about 9,000 people aged 18 to 64 from four regions and 17 countries, including the UAE.
All in all, this important study showed the fact that the overall outlook for crypto investments in the UAE is solid compared to the other global markets.
It seems that about 78% of investors are expecting to increase the proportion that is allocated to investible assets for crypto investment in the UAE against the 67% in the global markets.
While moving to the UAE might seem a great idea, you might believe that a Visa is tough to get.
There are more and more companies that are taking care of Visas these days, as we already noted in our previous articles as well.
One crucial name among them is Crypto Expat – they understand the importance of getting a Visa quickly for those interested.
According to the official website, Crypto Expat can help prepare a Visa for all individuals who want or plan to retire to the UAE. This way, people can get the chance to build their company efficiently and enjoy all the benefits of developing it in the UAE.
UAE’s most popular industries – Banking, IT, and marketing
There are more and more UAE employees who want to change their industry these days. There are all kinds of career growth opportunities, and obviously, the most popular one is crypto.
We’re bringing up a new survey released by YouGov and Bayt.com. This relevant survey revealed that 6 in 10 professionals in the UAE are considering an industry change in the next few months.
It’s also worth noting the fact that about 49% are citing better salary as the top reason for an industry change. Then, comes better career growth at 46%.
This survey revealed the fact that hospitality, recreation, and entertainment emerged as the most appealing industries amongst those who consider an industry change.
Zafar Shah, who is a research director at YouGov, said the findings will support future earners and employees as well as offer a glimpse of industries.
The same survey also revealed around a quarter of UAE employees changed their industry at least once in the past two years.
They did this for higher salaries and better career growth opportunities as the top two reasons for changing their industry.
There’s another critical study that we have to bring into the discussion. A recent survey released by Cooper Fitch revealed that 23% of organizations would reduce their headcount.
The Bayt.com survey, which was conducted online from February 9 to 28, 2022, found that job seekers are most interested in working in banking, finance, accounting, IT and advertising, marketing, and public relations sectors.
“The survey provides the timely insights needed to orient Mena professionals towards opportunities as well as optimize recruiters’ hiring efforts. We find that technology-driven job creation is forecast to rise with IT/ Internet/ E-commerce expected to record the strongest growth in the coming year,” said Zafar Shah.
The crypto industry is one business sector that is exploding in popularity these days, and we have already addressed more reasons for which this is happening.
Financial security and safety are among these reasons, and this is completely understandable, especially considering the enormous crisis that the world has been hit with since 2020.
2020 managed to change life and normality as we used to know them, and ever since, life has been governed by fear and uncertainty.
Crypto bosses: the tide is turning on regulation
Regulation in the crypto space has not been looked at with too high enthusiasm, but this is an extremely important factor when it comes to crypto mass adoption.
The crypto industry has been promoting the mainstream adoption of digital assets a lot, and this trend continues.
There have been a lot of moves made in this direction, and they continue these days as well. The moves that the crypto exchanges and other platforms are making only come to support this claim.
A recent CNBC article notes that China has banned crypto, but countries like the US and Britain announced a move that will regulate the crypto space.
“The tide is definitely turning,” Changpeng Zhao told CNBC on the sidelines of the Paris Blockchain Week Summit. The crypto space has to make more efforts before we can reach mainstream adoption. This is also depending on global regulators as well.
Governments are making important moves in crypto.
“The regulatory landscape around the world is coming up to speed quickly,” Nicolas Cary, co-founder of crypto wallet maker Blockchain.com, told CNBC.
The UK government announced it would bring stablecoins into the local payments regime.
Governments want to foster innovation around financial markets and the next possible generation of the internet, known as “Web3,” crypto execs told CNBC.
Crypto offers people a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve financial freedom. But unfortunately, 99% of the investors will never get there. Some critical advice regarding investments in crypto includes the following:
Build a successful crypto portfolio and keep it. Not every call that you make has to be correct. You can make only ten bets and hit one winner. In the crypto space, you don’t have to strive for perfection; you have to strive for profitability. In other words, this means taking losses along the way in pursuit of positive returns.
In order to implement this strategy, you have to diversify. Over diversification is pretty bad, but under diversification can also be harmful that’s for sure.
This is why it’s best for investors to build a portfolio of more projects, according to experts.
This way, you will be able to capture the overall trend of the market. If this is bullish, having exposure to more assets will turn out advantageous.
However, in a choppy/sideways market like this, you have to be more careful about the quality and quantity of projects you hold.
What does managing a portfolio consist of? Well, it’s not that difficult. It’s about taking profits, finding the best yield opportunities, staking and compounding, rebalancing based on performance, finding new projects, and discarding existing holdings.