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Dubai-based crypto firm to offer payment card

The partnership between BitOasis and Mastercard could make cryptocurrencies more usable for daily purchases.
A sign offering Bitcoin for sale is seen in a store window in Hollywood, California, Oct. 20, 2022

A cryptocurrency platform in the United Arab Emirates announced today it will offer a card linked to cryptocurrencies. 

The Dubai-based BitOasis and Mastercard will partner to offer “crypto card programs” that will use cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases. The cards will convert the crypto assets into fiat currency, such as US dollars or Emirati dirhams. BitOasis said in a statement that the cards will launch in early 2023. 

“We continue to witness sustained demand amongst our customers for crypto to be integrated into, and relevant, for their daily lives,” said BitOasis CEO Ola Doudin. “Research tells us that 47% of the Middle East population now believe crypto is the future of money.” 

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is becoming more popular throughout the Middle East, especially in the UAE. Most recently, the Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX received regulatory approval to operate in Dubai. One April study concluded that a third of Emiratis and Israelis as well own cryptocurrency. 

Cryptocurrencies are held digitally but typically cannot be used for goods and services payments. The BitOasis and Mastercard partnership could potentially increase cryptocurrencies’ utility. 

Know more: Many crypto coins have lost a tremendous amount of value this year. One Bitcoin was worth just below $20,000 today compared to more than $45,000 in January, according to market data. 

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