Crypto exchange Bybit announced on Monday that it would open its global headquarters in Dubai. Meanwhile, crypto platform Crypto.com said it would establish a regional hub there. Additionally, the latest move in the UAE was developing a hub for the virtual asset industry.
One of the UAE’s seven emirates and the region’s commercial hub, Dubai enacted its first virtual asset law this month, creating the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to oversee the industry.
Dubai this month granted virtual asset licenses to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Additionally, FTX Europe, a subsidiary of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX, got a license too. FTX will have a regional headquarters in the city.
Major Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com said it aims to build a significant presence in the UAE. They plan to launch a significant recruitment drive in the coming months.
As regional economic competition intensifies, the UAE is pushing to develop the virtual asset sector and regulations to attract new business forms.
The UAE aspires to become the global capital for virtual assets and other industries such as Metaverse. Helal Al Marri, director-general of Dubai’s Ministry of Economic and Tourism, told an investment conference in Dubai on Monday.
Internationally, regulators are concerned about how the collapse of crypto assets, a highly volatile and still opaque market, will affect the broader financial sector.
Gaps in data on crypto-assets make it difficult to gauge their full use. Plus, many investors don’t fully understand what they’re buying.
Institutional Crypto Funds See The Most Significant Capital Inflow In 3 Months
Data on Tuesday showed institutional investment in cryptocurrencies was at its highest level in three months, up sharply from the $47 million outflows the previous week.
The weekly report on digital asset capital flows shows that the total inflow of digital asset investment products over the past week was $193 million, the highest level since early December 2021.
The last time investment levels were close to current numbers was the week ending Dec. 3, when $184 million in inflows.
Funding flows were mainly in Bitcoin, with more than 50% going to BTC-based products, totaling $98 million in inflows.
Solana (SOL) came in second, recording an inflow of $87 million this week. It was the largest weekly inflow on record. SOL-based funds now account for 36% of institutional firms’ assets under management, the largest altcoin after Ether (ETH). Last week, ETH-based funds saw inflows of just $10.2 million.
Europe is the biggest contributor, and the company appears to be supported by news that legislation banning proof-of-work (PoW) mining has not passed. 76% of inflows last week came from the region
The data in the report is in stark contrast to last week’s data, which showed that most North American companies withdrew $49.4 million from BTC and ETH, fearing increased regulation of cryptocurrencies.
Inflows from institutional firms correlate with Bitcoin’s recent surge above $48,500. The same goes for Ether, which broke above $3,300.
Turkey Threatens To Become ‘Safe Haven’ For Russian Sanctions
At least one oligarch and thousands of other Russians have attacked Turkey, which, despite being a NATO member, is considered a safe place to live, invest and own since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a series of Western sanctions against Moscow.
As a safe haven, the Turkish government, banks, and companies face tough decisions and penalties if the U.S. and other countries pressure Moscow through broader “secondary” sanctions.
Turkey has declared Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine unacceptably but objected in principle and did not impose sanctions.
After years of unorthodox monetary policy and capital outflows, any fallout from the sanctions could further damage Turkey’s reputation with foreign investors.
The reputation took another hit last year when international regulator the Financial Action Task Force downgraded Turkey to the so-called grey list for failing to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
The inflow from institutional firms has been linked to Bitcoin’s recent surge above $48,500. The same goes for Ether, which broke above $3,300.
Coinbase Will Reportedly Acquire The $2.2 Billion Brazilian Unicorns Behind Mercado Bitcoin
Coinbase will continue its global acquisition strategy, reportedly acquiring Brazilian company 2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin.
According to Esstadão, Brazil’s third-largest newspaper, read by 212 million people, the Coinbase acquisition could be completed next month. Purchase talks have been held throughout 2022.
Mercado Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency broker in Latin America. Its parent company 2TM has cemented its unicorn status as a billion-dollar company in 2021.
2TM, valued at US$2.2 billion, has also adopted an acquisition strategy, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries. 2TM’s Mercado Bitcoin acquired Portugal’s CriptoLoja, a Lisbon-based cryptocurrency exchange.
2TM Holdings now includes Meubank, MB Digital Assets, CriptoLoja, Bitrust, Blockchain Academy, MezaPro, Wuzu, and Portal do Bitcoin.
Coinbase’s reported proposed acquisition of 2TM shows that their global acquisition strategy is snowballing.
The San Francisco-based exchange also recently acquired blockchain infrastructure platform Bison Trails after acquiring an Indian artificial intelligence startup to improve customer service when angry customer feedback proved too much.
Coinbase’s latest report in Latin America for Coinbase Institutional Investors, Where’s Next for Crypto in Latin America, mentions Brazil 31 times. Mexico (larger GDP but with a strong interest in cryptocurrencies) says only 17 times.
This is not surprising. Brazil is a hotbed of Bitcoin adoption. According to Triple-A, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city, will accept certain taxes on cryptocurrencies in 2023, with more than 10 million Brazilians owning cryptocurrencies.
2021 is the year of “mass adoption” in Brazil, as UFC stars and politicians get involved in the action.
Bank Of England Sets Out The Regulatory Framework For Crypto
With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, central banks worldwide are accelerating the regulation of the booming industry. The latest to join the bandwagon is the Bank of England in the U.K.
Last week, the Bank of England released its financial stability report on crypto assets and decentralized finance (DeFi). The bank’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) also released documents that reference each other simultaneously.
The report, released last week, largely follows existing regulatory frameworks to mitigate risks associated with crypto in traditional finance. The Financial Policy Committee (FPS) also welcomed the Treasury Department’s proposal to regulate stablecoins and involve banks.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s proposal advocates adapting to the international community’s regulation of DeFi applications.
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