- Cryptocurrency has become a widely accepted phenomenon worldwide.
- There are also countries in the Middle East that are trying everything in their will not to let Cryptocurrency enter their nation.
- The smallest Middle Eastern nation has carried forward various initiatives to attract the cryptocurrency business.
The pace of cryptocurrency mass adoption in the Middle East is quite slow but one thing which is for sure is that it is taking place. Cryptocurrency has become a widely accepted phenomenon worldwide.
However, its growth is still at a slow pace in the Middle East. Countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Bahrain consist of few private and public entities that are accommodating this new technology at the moment. On the other hand, there are also countries in the Middle East that are trying everything in their will not to let Cryptocurrency enter their nation.
One of the main focal points which are taken into consideration while analyzing the nascent industry is that adoption in this region is mainly driven from the top down. Due to cliched mindsets and fear of failure, the Government agencies and traditional banks, hesitate to adopt new technology.
Some of the wealthiest nations in the world situated in the Middle East. The GDP per capita ranges from $50,000 to $130,000 in the Gulf states, However, when it comes to expenditure on the digital economy, Arab countries contribute to a GDP which is as low as one digit.
The latest news suggests that the frontier of Fintech adoption and the UAE have announced various plans to launch a digital currency that will serve both the countries. It was published in November and has dubbed as “Aber.”
It is an experiment which is expected to facilitate financial settlements between two Middle Eastern nations having a combined economy of $1.2 trillion. The government of Dubai also plans to release its Cryptocurrency, which goes by the name emCash. It will use to pay for government and private services in the city.
As it has also officially announced, the US-based crypto payments company Ripple has been working with Saudi and Emeriti banks for a long time. The goal which they aim is to legitimize Cryptocurrency. It also has inked partnerships with Saudi Arabia’s de facto central bank. This ensures cross border payments.
However, the policymakers are not unknown to the fact that the adoption of cryptocurrencies is inevitable. Those who go on the bigger track are also probing to risks as well as benefits. There have been a lot of steps taken by the UAE to regulate the way that blockchain startups raise money.
Abu Dhabi’s financial regulator also approved Arabian Bourse. As a result, the startup to operate a full-fledged crypto-asset exchange and digital custodian in the emirate becomes easy.
Bahrain is one such country which has been establishing itself as a blockchain pioneer in the region. The smallest Middle Eastern nation has carried forward various initiatives to attract the cryptocurrency business. Along with it, Bahrain Central Bank has also approved the crypto-asset exchange Rain Crypto Exchange to go live, and have also posted about their partnership with global exchange Bittrex.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Kuwait are few of those countries that have taken notice, and their regulators are drafting different bills, which can make it easy for the central banks to issue the rules which regulate cryptocurrency activities and blockchain-based finance.
The debate about the usage of virtual coins in its legitimate form is never-ending. Islamic law also emphasizes real economic activities, which based on physical assets, excluding pure monetary speculation.
The economic activities which take place in Islamic finance should be compliant with the Sharia Law. This law has stringent rules which ensure the certainty of transactions. With the emergence of Cryptocurrency in at least some countries of the Middle East, it is safe to say that soon Cryptocurrency might become famous and be accepted everywhere with no restrictions.