Dubai: Dubai is well-positioned to benefit from the growing cryptocurrency market in the Middle East as its regulators lead a push toward acceptance of blockchain-based technologies, according to the CEO of Bittrex Global's.
The UAE is "doing all the right things and they're going to attract a lot of regional projects," said Stephen Stonberg, CEO of the digital assets exchange, said in an interview. "It's a great place to set up your token project, or run a cryptocurrency exchange," he said, helped by the region's status as a tax haven.
Measures in place
Dubai, the region's financial hub, has already taken several steps to bolster the use of blockchain within the city in recent months, and Stonberg expects Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds to also make blockchain allocations.
In May, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority signed an agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority to support the regulation, offering and trading of crypto assets within the free zone. The city's DMCC freezone opened a blockchain-based exchange for sugar trading last year and the Bitcoin Fund listed on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange in June - the first of its kind to trade in the region.
"I think Dubai is going to do fantastically well," as it embraces cryptocurrencies, he said, adding that Bittrex expects to have an expanded presence and more clients in the region.