The UAE is now the world’s second leading jurisdiction for digital token sales, accounting for more than one-fourth of global funds raised in Q1 2019.
In comparison, the UAE did not even rank among the top 10 countries last year, analysis by blockchain consultancy CoinSchedule shows.
“The fact that the UAE has accelerated in digital footprint in such a short span of time shows significant proof that the country is fast gearing towards digitalising its economy rapidly and successfully,” said Ahmed Jacob, managing partner and CTO of INVAO.
INVAO is a blockchain investment management company with presence in Berlin, Liechtenstein, Dubai, and Singapore.
Two specific deals drove UAE ranking; GCBIB raised $142 million in developing banking and insurance products for the UAE token economy, and Bolton Coin’s STO raised $67 million by offering a way to invest in various asset classes including real estate and crypto mining.
The British Virgin Islands has so far attracted the most token sales in 2019. However, businesses choose to register in offshore locations primarily for tax and regulatory reasons, while the projects teams are often operating in other markets.
The UAE, on the other hand, is more homegrown, using digitalised tokens to develop the country. The government has launched its Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, with the goal of transferring 50% of government transactions onto a blockchain-based platform by 2021 which could position the UAE’s ranking to the top position of the largest token sales globally.
Smart Dubai Government Establishment implemented blockchain technology to its department towards the end of 2018, endorsing the power of technological development to improve business, finance and economy.
The Abu Dhabi Global Markets and Dubai International Financial Centre free zones already have blockchain-specific regulations in place. Additionally, UAE and Saudi Arabia central banks are also currently experimenting with a digital currency to facilitate cross-border transactions.