UAE leads in crypto ownership with Over 33% of UAE residents invested in cryptocurrencies

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2 min readJun 13, 2023

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One month, after Dubai adopted new laws governing virtual assets, 33+ per cent of UAE residents say they have invested in cryptocurrencies, a survey, has shown.

According to a Gemini survey, the UAE is the third biggest country in the world in terms of crypto adoption with 35 percent already owning some form of cryptocurrency.

The UAE is set to become the global hub for cryptocurrencies and experts have lauded the country’s role in promoting and adopting virtual currencies as a number of digital asset exchanges and crypto firms have launched their operations in the country, thanks to Abu Dhabi Global Markets and Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority.

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Residents in the UAE plan to allocate 26 per cent of their investable assets to cryptocurrency, compared with 20 percent globally, findings in the survey by online market research company Toluna show.

Researchers polled 500 people in the Emirates and 9,000 globally between the ages of 18 and 64 for the study.

Meanwhile, 18 percent of UAE residents said they trust cryptocurrencies, the survey found.

“Despite the relatively cautious attitude towards investing in cryptocurrencies, the overall outlook in the UAE shows investors tend to embrace the global trend towards this type of investment,” said Sakina Mannan, Toluna’s senior account director for the Middle East and Africa region.

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“As per the study indications and the strategic business outlook in the country, it’s likely that we’ll be seeing growing interest towards cryptocurrencies in the UAE.”

In March, Dubai outlined clear regulations to govern emerging technology sectors such as cryptocurrencies in an effort to safeguard investors.

The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (Vara) serves as the single custodial entity mandated to licence and govern the cryptocurrency sector in Dubai, including all mainland and free zones, excluding the DIFC.

Following the announcement, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and FTX Europe secured virtual asset licences to operate in Dubai. Cryptocurrency exchange Bybit has also received approval to conduct a virtual assets business in Dubai and plans to set up its global headquarters in the emirate, the company said.

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange crypto.com will establish its regional hub in Dubai, while BitOasis, one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges to set up in the UAE, said it has applied for a new licence with Vara. It received provisional approval to operate in the emirate.

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