Gulf primed to capture more crypto business, but volatility may mute returns


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


June 23, 2023

Bottom Line:

Amid an accelerating US crypto crackdown, the Middle East stands to benefit. In June 2023, the US financial regulator announced lawsuits against the world’s top two crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase — a development with important global implications for the embattled crypto industry. Only weeks before these lawsuits emerged, Coinbase’s CEO visited the UAE and signaled it could become a strategic hub for the US company. That would boost the UAE’s push to become a global leader in the cryptoeconomy and validate its continued embrace of the industry even following FTX’s catastrophic collapse in late 2022, which erased about $200 billion from the crypto market. Other Gulf states could also capture a slice of the industry, positioning the region to capitalize on Bitcoin’s next bull run — or get burned if more industry players implode. 

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