UAE: 2 major cryptocurrency firms set up head offices in Dubai

Both Crypto.com and Bybit look forward to contributing to the virtual assets innovations of the Emirate’s vibrant economy



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Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 28 Mar 2022, 6:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Mar 2022, 8:17 PM

World’s two major cryptocurrency platforms will set up their regional and global headquarters in Dubai, it was announced at the World Government Summit on Monday.

Global cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com will open its regional head office in Dubai while Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange business Bybit will shift its global head office to the Emirate.

“We are opening a regional head office for the Middle East and Africa here in Dubai. It is going to be a great addition to run our operations from here because the UAE is diversifying its industries and trying to be bold and create opportunities. We are not here only to gain more market share but to create a broader ecosystem where there are more opportunities for all,” Eric Anziani, Chief Operating Officer at Crypto.com, said during a press conference at the World Government Summit on Monday.

The company, which boasts 10 million users and 3,000 employees, is currently looking for office space in Dubai and aims to employ around 100 to 200 workers including engineers.

“We are already looking for an office in Dubai with 100 to 200 people including on the compliance side. We are looking at the right licensing setup. There is a lot of talent in Dubai who can support operations,” he added.

“We are also mindful of the impact on the environment that the industry might have and try to develop technology to reduce carbon emission,” he added.

Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit, said his company has received in-principle approval to conduct a full spectrum of virtual assets business in Dubai.

“Bybit looks forward to contributing to the virtual assets innovations of the Emirate’s vibrant economy and having our global headquarters in Dubai. I believe, we could help further stakeholders’ understanding of this complex industry as the virtual assets space continues to rapidly mature,” said Zhou.

“We will be moving a significant portion of staff to Dubai from April as well as hiring local recruitment and talent. Working with regulatory authority here will further strengthen local regulatory framework to share knowledge and expertise,” he said, adding that Bybit has grown to the third-largest most visited cryptocurrency platform with more than 10 billion volumes per day globally.

“We decided to move to Dubai because of its open policies and it’s also going to be a crypto hub… Plus, people have high net value and local adoption of crypto is also high. There are a lot of crypto industry people here and we are opening doors for them. Also, a lot of crypto institutions are moving to Dubai,” he added.

Virtual asset industry is here to stay

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, also addressed the press conference and said that the virtual assets industry which has reached a $2 trillion market is here to stay and the UAE aims to be the hub of this new-age industry.

“As the world continues to change rapidly, we are trying to create a future economy and cement our position as virtual assets hub. We see great potential in virtual assets, therefore we are building an ecosystem with robust regulations,” he added.

While speaking during another panel discussion at the World Government Summit, Helal Al Marri, Director General, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, said crypto and virtual assets industries are going to grow as long as there is an ecosystem that shields the vulnerable.

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“Virtual assets are a whole new ecosystem and we need to make sure that the UAE becomes global capital. We see the talent coming to UAE and major corporates and banks and other MNCs are starting to tiptoe into this space and choosing the UAE. We have a big role to play in this field. As long as there is an ecosystem that protects the vulnerable, this sector is going to thrive,” added Al Marri.

Mohammed Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said they are working with the government to create an ecosystem and have the right framework in the UAE.

“We can attract a lot of big companies and create crypto assets in the UAE. Therefore, we are working diligently with partners. Crypto is going to stay and develop and we have to have an agile regulatory framework,” he added.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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