The growth and increasing use of cryptocurrencies has been unprecedented in recent years. From the creation of Bitcoin in 2009 to its value reaching an all-time high of nearly $20,000 in 2017 and the subsequent influx of investors and adoption by large financial institutions, cryptocurrency has evolved from a niche technology to a legitimate mainstream asset class with the potential to disrupt traditional centralized systems and revolutionize industries.
Dubai has been quick to capitalize on this by providing a supportive environment in which cryptocurrency businesses can thrive and by providing the necessary legislation to address investor concerns around regulation, security and volatility.
There are now over 700 crypto-based companies in the emirate including major exchanges like Blockchain.com and Binance, and this trend is expected to continue as new initiatives are introduced to attract investors and protect consumers.
Why start a cryptocurrency business in Dubai?
Dubai’s low tax regime, well-developed infrastructure and strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa make it an ideal location for businesses looking to scale quickly and reach emerging global markets.
There is also a great deal of government support for innovation and entrepreneurship with numerous funding programmes, mentorship and incubation services and access to networking and collaboration opportunities.
The Dubai Future Foundation which is open to startups from various sectors, including blockchain and cryptocurrencyoffers various funding programmes to connect startups with government entities to develop and implement innovative solutions.
DIFC Fintech Hive is another startup accelerator programme that funds companies in the fintech space and also provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to investment.
Dubai Angel Investors and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority also provide support and funding to tech ventures at the critical early growth stages when a company may not yet have a fully developed product or revenue stream and is looking to scale quickly.
Where can I start a cryptocurrency business in Dubai?
There are several jurisdictions in Dubai where it is possible to set up a cryptocurrency business. These include:
- Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC): The DMCC is a free zone that offers a comprehensive business environment and regulatory framework for cryptocurrency businesses. It provides companies with access to research and development facilities, mentorship programs, and incubation services, and also hosts events and conferences, bringing together key stakeholders in the industry, such as entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators.
- Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC): The DIFC is a world-renowned financial free zone that is home to over 60% of the GCC’s fintech and innovation companies. It operates under a common law legal system which provides a stable and predictable environment for businesses. It also allows unrivalled access to a large pool of capital, including venture capital firms, private equity firms, and family offices which can provide the necessary capital to scale and grow a cryptocurrency business.
- Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO): The DSO is a technology park that offers a supportive environment for technology startups, including cryptocurrency businesses. DSO has a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure, including high-speed internet connectivity and advanced telecommunications networks. It is also home to several universities and research centres, which can provide a pool of talented individuals with expertise in areas such as blockchain technology and computer science.
How do I start a cryptocurrency business in Dubai?
Starting a cryptocurrency business in Dubai requires careful planning, research, and compliance with local regulations. Here are some general steps to consider:
- Conduct market research: Research the local cryptocurrency market, competition, and regulatory environment in Dubai to identify opportunities and challenges.
- Choose a business model: There are various business models for cryptocurrency businesses, such as exchange platforms, wallet providers, and payment processors. You should choose a model that aligns with your expertise and the needs of the market.
- Develop a business plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your business goals, financial projections, marketing strategies, and operational processes.
- Incorporate your business: Register your business with the Department of Economic Development (DED) and obtain the necessary licences and permits to operate a cryptocurrency business in Dubai.
- Open a corporate bank account: Open a corporate bank account in Dubai to facilitate transactions and comply with local regulations.
- Build a team: Building a team of experienced professionals is crucial to the success of your cryptocurrency business. You should look for individuals with expertise in areas such as blockchain technology, finance, and compliance.
- Develop your platform: Develop a user-friendly and secure cryptocurrency platform that meets the needs of your target market.
- Implement security measures: Implement robust security measures, including multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security audits, to protect your platform and users from cyber threats.
- Comply with regulations: Dubai has strict regulations around cryptocurrencies, including requirements for anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. You will need to ensure that your business is compliant with these regulations and that you have appropriate measures in place to prevent fraud and money laundering.
- Launch and market your platform: Launch your platform and develop a marketing strategy to attract users and grow your customer base.
- Establish partnerships: Establishing partnerships with other businesses and organisations in the region can help you to expand your network and reach new customers. You should consider partnerships with banks, payment processors, and other businesses in the technology sector.
How can Global Link help?
Global Link has over 16 years’ experience working with local and global businesses, providing bespoke consultancy services for company incorporation in Dubai and the wider UAE.
We can advise you on setting up a cryptocurrency business in Dubai, helping you select the most appropriate jurisdiction, ensuring that you have all the necessary permits and approvals and providing support throughout the incorporation process and beyond.
If you need advice on setting up a cryptocurrency business in Dubai or for any other company incorporation, visa or PRO service, please get in touch with us on +971 4 553 9901 or email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.