Although many nations view the crypto industry with scepticism, some feel that it has already irreversibly altered the world and is intimately tied to the future of finance.
Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, the state minister for artificial intelligence (AI), digital economy, and remote-work applications in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has voiced confidence over the future of cryptocurrencies in an article published on September 28 in The Banker.
Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama. Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
Being in the mainstream as opposed to escaping it
According to Omar, those involved in the original creation of cryptocurrencies and associated technologies sought to use them to sidestep established financial institutions and monetary systems. Still, for obvious reasons, this is neither feasible nor desirable.
Consequently, the minister believes:
“Rather, the future of digital currencies lies firmly within the mainstream financial system, where they can make an enormous difference to several problems in areas such as payments, banking and investing.”
To make this vision a reality, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama believes greater breathing room must be provided to people at the forefront of pushing new technology (…) while ensuring the essential rules are in place to safeguard consumers and the financial system and prevent criminal businesses.
UAE’s three-pronged crypto strategy
Pursuing new technologies while ensuring the necessary regulations was what the UAE attempted to do, elaborating that its strategy focuses on three key elements: encouraging innovation and adoption, providing a favourable regulatory network, and fostering global collaboration.
Regarding the first part, the minister stated that the UAE had fostered an atmosphere where residents feel qualified to explore a new economy of virtual assets, and their adoption reflects this.
Regarding regulation, he mentioned the recent establishment of the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara), stating that crypto assets and technology require a favourable yet firm regulatory compass to flourish.
Thirdly, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama said that the UAE already hosts some significant events on the global blockchain calendar, where they are happy to welcome entrepreneurs, regulators, investors, and other major players in the global crypto ecosystem.
His conclusion was:
“Cryptocurrencies (…) have enormous potential to revolutionise the existing financial system if implemented in the correct way. (…) The UAE has adopted this model and hopes to inspire other countries to embrace it too.”
Talking the talk and walking the walk
The UAE is integrating cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in various industries, including aviation, philanthropy, and the battle against financial crime.
In addition, the government has welcomed crypto exchange Kraken, a VIP crypto credit card by VISA (NYSE: V), and free crypto domains for all Abu Dhabi women, with the UAE’s most populated city declaring intentions to support up to 40,000 extra virtual employment in the metaverse industry.