RIYADH: As crypto continues to galvanise attention from both the authorities and investors, a number of analysts are suggesting Bitcoin could become legal tender in many countries.
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of investment management firm Skybridge Capital, expects more countries to adopt Bitcoin alongside their domestic and international currencies.
“I think Bitcoin will be used by many Latin American countries as legal tender over time, not just El Salvador, but other countries,” Scaramucci said.
El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar in September last year.
El Salvador's president, Nayib Bukele, predicted in January that two more countries would launch a legal tender for bitcoin this year, Bitcoin.com reported.
The CEO of Devere Group, Nigel Green, also predicted in January that three countries would adopt Bitcoin as legal tender this year.
Meanwhile, the CEO of crypto derivatives trading platform Bitmex, Alex Hoeptner, said in October last year that five countries will accept Bitcoin as legal tender by the end of 2022.
Scaramucci also believes that the crypto currency could reach $500K a coin in the long term, according to Bitcoin.com.
In addition, he expects more than a billion wallets to hold Bitcoin by the end of 2025, and the number of its users to reach 2.5 to 3 billion over the next decade.
“When it gets there, then I think as a mature asset, we could have a conversation about whether or not it operates as an inflation hedge,” he said.
FTX, a major crypto exchange, announced that it has obtained a virtual-asset license in Dubai and will establish a regional headquarters in the city, Bloomberg reported.
“The firm will offer complex crypto-derivatives products with centralized counterparty clearing to institutional markets,” CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in a statement.
FTX reached $32 billion valuation after raising $400 million in a Series C round announced in January, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Binance, the largest crypto exchange, has also obtained licenses to be a service provider in Dubai and Bahrain as it sets up the stage for a major push in the Middle East, according to Bloomberg.
Binance got a license to be the first anchor in Dubai World Trade Center, an economic free zone, a person familiar with the matter said.
It also won a license from Bahrain’s central bank to be a crypto-asset service provider in the country, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, tweeted.
These two licenses represent the exchange's first regulatory approvals in the Middle East.
The UAE is seeking to attract some of the largest fintech and crypto companies in the world.
It is also the third-largest crypto market in the region, trailing Turkey and Lebanon, according to data compiled by Chainalysis as of June 2021.
Emirati entrepreneurs active in the local cryptocurrency and non-fungible token sector welcomed the recent announcement of Dubai’s new virtual asset laws and the creation of the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority.
The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law is expected to boost trading volumes in cryptocurrencies, while the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority will regulate, supervise and control virtual asset services, the ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Al Maktoum said.
The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law aims to create an advanced legal framework to protect investors and design international standards to govern the virtual asset industry, Arabian Business reported.
“As an artist and entrepreneur who deals extensively in NFTs, I find this recent development to be crucial for the growth of my art business and the region’s NFT artwork industry,” Kristel Bechara, the first Arab female artist to launch NFTs from the UAE said.
The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority will also be essential in establishing a framework of rules and regulations that will attract new investors and creators to the market, according to Arabian Business.
Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Tuesday, falling by 1.18 percent to $38,362 at 10:32 a.m. Riyadh time.
Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $2,527, down by 1.97 percent, according to data from Coindesk.