Dubai’s Security Chief, Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim had at a recent event predicted that cryptocurrencies will overtake cash as the country’s mainstream payment system.
The Police boss while speaking at the panel event, opined that the main hurdles against cryptocurrencies mainstream adoption include a lack of sound public awareness and an inadequate crime prevention strategy as he states “faith in digital currencies will always be questioned as long as its source and tracking system remain unknown; nevertheless its huge potential is unquestionable.”
This affirmation by Mr Tamim comes at a time when the Arab nation has begun proactive moves to embrace both cryptocurrency and blockchain technology; especially with its highly publicized blockchain-strategy initiative and state-level interest; which has pitched the country as a forerunner ahead of other neighbouring countries in this sector. Also certain reports last week had specified that UAE lawmakers where adopting protocols concerning implementation and legislation of fintech and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
During the panel session, other senior figures reiterated Tamim’s predictions and enthusiasm, with many supporting of his view and urging on the launch of the UAE digital currency using blockchain technology as well as an amendment of its existing AML and CFT laws to include use of digital currencies. However, few others notably Dr Saeed Dhaheri, Chairman of digital smart services (Dubai SmartWorld) presented to the panel divergent views especially the need for clear cut regulations as it was still a turbulent industry as stated in his words “For every one successful digital transaction, there are five failed currencies.” which clearly pinpoints the anomaly of fake cum failed crypto projects and start-ups.
In his final note and response, the security chief warned against crypto scams as he tendered the panel’s plight before the government to develop a legal and law enforcement framework to deal with this threat.
The stance of the UAE government on cryptocurrencies, ICO and sector legislation is yet to be clearly ascertained as it has in a few cases issued warnings about the risk of digital assets and ICOs while still making collaborations with sister nations and big company partners like IBM for blockchain projects.