News & views
UAE and Singapore’s bets on cryptocurrency ‘seem promising’Date Posted: 27 June, 2022
The financial hubs are in a strong position thanks to their early adoption of cryptocurrency regulations and infrastructure says a leading European academic.
The UAE and Singapore have been singled out by a leading European academic for taking the lead on cryptocurrency regulations.
“Given the track record of these hubs in digital transformation and facilitating international trade, their bet on crypto seems promising,” said Guy Burton, an Adjunct Professor at the Brussels School of Governance.
In an article called Getting it right on crypto regulation, he added: “Should their initiatives withstand the challenges, the prospects for crypto products could determine the financial centers of the future.”
Burton said countries like the UAE have a comparative advantage over other jurisdictions like the EU and the US and which are just starting their regulation journey.
“Unlike the US, the UAE has moved past the stage of appealing for existing authorities to work together. Unlike the EU, it does not have years to wait before the legal framework is fully in place,” he wrote.
“While Singapore or the UAE lack the EU’s size, they have another advantage: they can be fleet of foot.”
Burton has held a number of research and teaching appointments, including the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government in Dubai, and the University of Kurdistan-Hewler in northern Iraq.
He praised Singapore’s monetary authority (MAS) for launching “Project Guardian”, a collaboration between different financial authorities and private sector.
The project will test the feasibility of applications in asset tokenisation and DeFi while managing risks to financial stability and integrity.
Highlighting the UAE, he said it had adopted elaborate regulation as well as established a dedicated regulatory body, while issuing licenses for more than 30 exchanges to be set up.
He predicted these moves, along with officially sanctioned crypto mining, should mean that the country’s share of the global crypto market should grow more than the $26 billion from last year.
“It is very likely that plenty of eyes will be on such trendsetters as Singapore and the UAE in the next few years as the digital assets market solidifies its role in the future of finance.”