Crypto’s Big Party in Dubai Signals Industry’s Future Is in Asia

In the latest edition of the Bloomberg Crypto newsletter, Hannah Miller provides insights gleaned from the recent Token2049 conference held in Dubai, amidst the city’s pre-conference flooding.

Despite the logistical challenges posed by the weather, the conference showcased Asia’s burgeoning enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies. Attendees, hailing from various corners of the globe, eagerly speculated on which regions within Asia would emerge as the primary hubs for digital assets.

Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink Labs, highlighted the significance of UAE, Singapore, and Hong Kong as emerging hubs for crypto entities, citing their conducive regulatory environments. Singapore, for instance, has expanded its digital asset regulations to encompass token custody and related transfer services. Meanwhile, Hong Kong, previously restrictive towards retail crypto trading, has recently relaxed its stance, permitting such trading on licensed exchanges. Notably, ETF issuers received preliminary approval in Hong Kong to establish funds directly investing in Bitcoin and Ether.

During Token2049’s debut in Dubai, Binance CEO Richard Teng announced the exchange’s attainment of a full crypto license from the city. This development aligns with Binance’s efforts to enhance its regulatory compliance following a $4.3 billion settlement in the US for violations related to anti-money laundering and sanctions. Despite Dubai’s burgeoning crypto industry, regulatory authorities have not hesitated to take enforcement actions against errant players like BitOasis and OPNX.

Many participants at the conference observed Asia’s growing embrace of digital assets, positioning it ahead of the US, which continues its regulatory crackdown. Bashir Kazour, managing director at Taurus SA based in Dubai, noted the event’s demonstration of Dubai’s appeal to budding crypto startups, with many expressing interest in expanding operations and hiring in the city.

In addition to these insights, the newsletter presents charts depicting Binance’s shifting dominance in spot trading market share and updates on the Mt. Gox bankruptcy proceedings. A notable quote from Rennick Palley, founding partner of Stratos, sheds light on hedge funds’ foray into memecoins.

The newsletter also features a selection of articles covering diverse topics such as hedge fund trends, regulatory developments, and industry updates, reflecting the dynamic nature of the crypto landscape.


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