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Regulation In The Middle East

Samantha Mitchell



Regulation In The Middle East

It is so great to be able to report how the regulation of Cryptocurrencies is now becoming almost weekly news somewhere in the world. This is something that has been long overdue.

The Middle East – known for its fortunes in oil – is no different and is now making sure that this part of the world is covered when it comes to investing in the Cryptocurrency industry. This is all off the back of the Blockchain revolution that is happening across the region. Here we look at just three of those Middle Eastern countries:

Bahrain Is Off

At the beginning of this month, Bahrain joined in and highlighted just how vital Blockchain is for this small country. The country is also very positive about Cryptocurrencies and how they should be supported. A legal framework is already planned and a “Sandbox” has been created to ensure that everything is implemented as it should be. The Bahrain Central Bank is heavily involved with the development of the fintech industry which will see the development of Blockchain and Bitcoin over the coming years. Only a couple of months ago a Dubai-based digital currency exchange was given a licence by the Bahrain Central Bank. However, although Cryptocurrencies can be traded they are still not legal tender at the moment.

Iran Moves Forward

Iran has featured heavily in the news of late with all of its activities. It is certainly a country that is keen on Cryptocurrencies with a legal framework already planned. Much of this is due to politics but no matter what the reason, Cryptocurrencies are becoming huge in Iran. A few months ago, a massive $2.5 billion had been used for the purchase of virtual currencies. Bitcoin is extremely popular and this is only going to grow. Although Cryptocurrencies are currently banned in the country, this is due to concerns over money laundering and the support of terroism. A view that many countries share. However, later on this month the Central Bank of Iran will be making a statement about Cryptocurrencies. Things could well be about to change. And it would not be a surprise if Iran developed a national Cryptocurrency of its own to skirt around US sanctions. Other countries in a similar position are also looking into this approach. Iran has also confirmed very recently that mining Cryptocurrencies is allowed in the country.

The UAE’s In

The first set of guidelines for Initial Coin Offerings and Cryptocurrencies was issued a year ago. However, since then there government has been issuing warnings about their use. Although there is a legal framework planned for Cryptocurrencies in this country, there are still major worries over money laundering and terroism funding similar to Iran. This is a natural concern for any developing country such as the UAE, which is less than 50 years old. Despite this, Blockchain is taking off in a major way in the country with one of the seven Emirates – Dubai – aiming to become the very first “Blockchain-powered city” by 2020, the year when all eyes will be on the city because of Expo.

Although the steps may be tiny at the minute, they are all steps in the right direction and that is something to be extremely positive about.

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