The UAE’s minister for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, Omar Sultan Al Olama said that the country still wants to be a center for cryptocurrency despite recent events, saying, “Them [crypto firms] calling the UAE home is definitely a positive thing.”
Read more: UAE to crack down on crypto, real estate exploitation
The Emirati official spoke at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos about the state of cryptocurrency in the aftermath of the recent market crash.
Olama pointed out that the collapse of the crypto exchange FTX and other cryptocurrency entities, such as Singapore’s Three Arrows Capital, had no connection to the UAE.
“Bad actors want to ensure they affiliate with jurisdictions people feel protected in; they hear Singapore, London, Dubai,” he said. “You will see them everywhere.”
Additionally, Olama called for governments to ensure those accused of financial wrongdoing cannot travel, saying they need to “work together with the industry to ensure that if someone does something wrong, he can’t move from one place to another.”
The UAE has implemented several measures in the past year to combat financial wrongdoing. Most recently, the UAE Central Bank announced guidance to combat money laundering for financial institutions in the Gulf state.
Many cryptocurrency exchanges have announced relocations to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, attracted in part by the UAE’s virtual asset regulations issued last year.
The UAE also has a relatively high level of cryptocurrency-related innovation going on. BitOasis, a cryptocurrency platform based in Dubai, announced a crypto-backed payment card.
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