Cryptocurrency acceptance has grown quickly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with both government and private companies trying to take advantage of the use of cryptocurrencies.
The latest venture was this year’s Future Blockchain Summit - one of the foremost blockchain conferences held in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The MENA Region’s Most Extensive Blockchain Conference
The Future Blockchain Summit was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). For four days, industry pioneers and insiders engaged, discussing how to push the blockchain industry forward. Some participating companies included Valhil Capital, one of the top crypto investment and venture capital firms in the world, along with crypto accelerator company TDeFi, and Digital Finance Exchange, among others.
The Future Blockchain Summit described itself as the most extensive sourcing and learning platform for blockchain technology in the MENA legion. It was established by the Dubai government in 2018 and sought to bring together the brightest and most advanced minds in the industry.
The conference was a massive success on all fronts. Companies shared their visions for the future of the blockchain industry, and new products were launched to enthusiastic users. In light of its success, organizers are already planning next year’s showpiece.
It has been a long road for Dubai and cryptocurrencies. The region is now one of the most vibrant when it comes to cryptocurrencies, with the government allowing people and companies to operate these assets more freely.
Dubai and the UAE Are Bullish on Crypto Progress
In September, the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) announced an agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) of the UAE to support the trading and oversight of cryptocurrencies within its free-trade zone.
According to the announcement, the new initiative will establish a framework to allow the DWTCA to issue necessary licenses and approvals for crypto-related financial activities. As part of the agreement, the SCA will have full oversight of crypto-related activities in the region; it will control coin-listing licensing and trading from private companies.
Maryam Al Suwaidi, the acting chief executive of the SCA, signed the agreement along with Helal Saeed Al Marri, the director-general of the DWTCA. Al Suwaidi explained the new project is part of the DWTCA’s commitment to expanding its services as a free-trade zone while supporting the growth of new technologies:
“As Dubai continues its drive toward an innovation and digital-led economy, DWTCA is looking to support businesses underpinned by blockchain and cryptographic technologies.”
An Important Part of Economic Development
These moves are in line with initiatives from the UAE government, which looks to capitalize on the growing digital asset market to strengthen its economy. In April, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, the minister of economy for the UAE, said at the World Economic Forum that asset tokenization and cryptocurrencies will be important as the country hopes to double its economy in a decade.
Data show the UAE has the 29th largest economy in the world. In his panel, titled “Arrival of the token economy, from art to real estate,” Al Marri explained that the UAE has, so far, seen several use cases for asset tokenization and cryptocurrencies that could help its economy.
The minister said they are looking to increase gross domestic product (GDP) by 7 percent annually. If successful, the UAE will double its economy by 2030. With tokenization complimenting information-based economies, it is sure to help the UAE government move quickly.
Al Marri also shared details on some UAE government initiatives. For instance, a study is being conducted with the World Economic Forum (WEF) on how to fund small and medium enterprises with a government-operated token platform. The platform will be part of a “regional token exchange” forming part of the UAE government’s agenda.
Despite all of this, Al Marri believes there is room for UAE regulation and oversight of cryptocurrencies. UAE government oversight will look to protect investors while leaving space for innovation.