Last Updated on 2 weeks by Ameer Hamza
The Middle East and North Africa have been determined to be the fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets in the world. In a year, the global transaction volume in the Middle East is estimated to have increased to $389.8 billion in value, according to the Global Crypto Adoption Index. Many countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have been ranked the highest growth volume of transactions in one year. However, despite the growth of cryptocurrency in these areas, there has been uncertainty regarding the regulatory climate of cryptocurrency in these countries. For clarity’s sake, we have a list of essential cryptocurrency regulations below that may be important to note.
Important Cryptocurrency Regulations in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey
Regulation Prohibiting Payments Through Crypto Assets
The government of Saudi Arabia issued an outright ban on cryptocurrency in 2018. It banned banks and other financial institutions from processing transactions involving cryptocurrencies. The government does not legally recognize the currency as a legal tender within the country, and it offers no protection for persons who lose their assets in cryptocurrency transactions. This is not to say that cryptocurrencies are not used by persons in the country, albeit without legal protection. In recent times, however, there has been an increase in the use and sale of NFTs, and NFTs may be a grey area for the prohibition of web tokens. This is because they are not expressly considered cryptocurrencies in the country. This grey area has allowed NFTs to thrive. Regulation of Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai 2022
Law No. 4 of 2022 Concerning the Regulation of Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai was passed in the previous year as a standard for virtual assets in a bid to govern the industry. The regulation establishes a framework for investors in dealing with virtual assets. This law applies to Dubai’s cryptocurrency climate and other parts of the emirate except its international financial center. Following establishing the Virtual Assets Regulation, the emirate also set up the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority to issue and oversee trade in virtual assets.
Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021
Although this regulation does not directly concern cryptocurrency, it indicates the United Arab Emirates’ inclination toward Blockchain technology. The strategy is geared towards improving public services within the country by incorporating Blockchain technology. The strategy aims to revamp 30% of all governmental transactions by transferring them to Blockchain platforms. The country’s deadline for this strategy was 2021, and it is difficult to say if it achieved it before the end of 2021. However, one sure thing is that the UAE is still actively embracing the Blockchain strategy in its public services.
Turkish Code of Obligation No 6098
The Turkish government has placed an outright ban on the use of cryptocurrency since 2021. The government’s stance towards technology has been on the prohibition side. Although persons may still buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies, such persons cannot use them in lawful transactions. The Capital Markets Board in Turkey has also restricted companies from providing investments relating to cryptocurrencies without a direct license from the board.
This article contains the key regulations prohibiting or permitting cryptocurrency in the three jurisdictions above. While many countries in the Middle East do not expressly ban cryptocurrency use and sale, they also do not permit it in legal transactions. In all, it depends on what you are in the market for.