A Crypto UAE emerging, but FOMO leaves a victim in Abu Dhabi

August 30, 2018 9:16 am


It’s not just blockchain that defines the UAE’s future strategy leading to 2021.

The UAE’s crypto future is crystallizing.

Here are the latest moves.

Read: Business interest in blockchain grows: Cryptos getting crushed

 Real Crypto-estate

UAE-based real estate developer, Imkan Properties, currently developing 26 projects in 6 countries worth over $27 billion, is gearing itself to offer a crypto payment feature for home buyers who would like to choose digital currency over fiat.

“Imkan is looking into new ways of approaching financials… We’re looking into cryptocurrencies and new technologies when it comes to putting together financial packages in relation to real estate,” CEO, Walid El-Hindi told local media.

Read: Adab solutions launching the ‘First Islamic Crypto Exchange’: Is it any good?

Shariah-compliant crypto-exchange

Albawaba reports that world’s first shariah-compliant crypto Exchange is to be launched in the UAE. ADAB Solutions, a UAE-based crypto startup, will launch The First Islamic Crypto Exchange (FICE) which will support the cryptocurrency trading pairs of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum Classic (ETC), as well as other cryptocurrencies.

ADAB sets itself a 1.8-billion Muslim community target worldwide, with global operations available to all users.

In order to offer crypto-related services that are “halal”, or permissible in Islam, ADAB Solutions will not be involved in digital currency projects related to gambling, betting, usury and other “immoral services”. Additionally, FICE will not be associated with any business involved in the production of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Albawaba reports that FICE expects a “monthly turnover of $4.4 billion” during the first 18 months of its operations.

ADAB Solutions will also be introducing its own crypto token called ADAB and advertised as “the only cryptocurrency, which can be used to pay for commission and services within the project”. Its initial coin offering (ICO) is set to launch in early September.

Related: The arrival of blockchain and crypto explained: The legal case for UAE

Crypto-asset business

Seccurency, a US-based provider of financial technology products for the tokenized issuance and trading of securities, is set to open a crypto-asset business under the new Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) regulatory framework in the UAE’s capital, according to International Investment.net.

The firm aims to partner with global blockchain companies to create and launch a fully-regulated crypto-asset business for institutional clients, worldwide.

“Seccurency will offer crypto custodial services and an Abu Dhabi-based exchange platform accessing large-scale global liquidity,” said International Investment.net.

The firm’s protocol can be used on Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple and EOS and other ledgers, allowing for on-chain and off-chain movement of tokens.

“This is the only way to provide stability, overcome challenges and ultimately, facilitate economic development via investment opportunities, particularly for private equity and institutional investors in this region,” said John Hensel, the chief operating officer of Securrency, in a statement.

Earlier this month, a special standing committee in Saudi Arabia issued a statement reaffirming the illegality of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the kingdom, as reported by International Investment.

Read: 11 Bitcoin and Crypto apps that make you virtual winners

Legal maneuvering

On August 12, the Saudi “standing committee for awareness on dealing in unauthorized securities activities in the foreign exchange market” issued a statement warning that “unauthorized virtual currencies are illegal inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Following the statement, Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange revealed it was working with GCC regulators across the region to develop crypto regulations.

“Bitoasis (currently present in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia), confirmed its platform is unaffected by the Saudi Arabian crypto stance,” News.Bitcoin reports.

Referring to the statement by Saudi Arabian authorities, Bitoasis commented, “the recent adverse announcement on digital asset trading in Saudi Arabia highlights the necessity for a clear and comprehensive regulatory framework to build confidence at the highest level.”

Bitoasis also confirmed that its “platform is still open to customers to safely and securely trade digital assets across the Middle East.”

Read: 1 reason why Bitcoin will swing hard 9 times the next 2 months

Crypto Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) claims UAE victim

It appears that FOMO got the best of one amateur cryptocurrency investor in Abu Dhabi who is now 85% down on cryptocurrencies purchased using a $139,500 bank loan, the Bitcoinist reports.

“He goes by the name ‘Cryptohomie’ on Reddit and documents he shared show a loan for $139,500 taken at the height of the 2017 cryptocurrency bull market,” said the Bitcoinist.

“Cryptohomie is on the hook for monthly repayments of $3,381 until December 14, 2021, and the loan total with interest comes up to a whopping $162,333.”

The amateur investor who stocked his portfolio full of Stellar Lumens, NEO, Litecoin, Ethereum and that lost 95% of their value already, told Reddit readers:

“Still three-and-a-half years to go until I’m freed. Until then, I’m working for nothing and I’m at 85% loss.”

Bitcoin’s price is right at $7000  today is down more than 70% from its all-time high of $20,000 back in December of 2017.

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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