Muscat: As Bitcoin hits all-time price highs, regulation must now become a major priority for financial watchdogs, said the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
With the price of Bitcoin hitting a new record high, surging past $61,000 on the deVere Crypto exchange earlier this for the first time this will fuel fresh demands for regulation, Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, said in an exclusive interview.
Elaborating about the response of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries towards Elaborating about the response of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries towards Bitcoin he said that GCC countries have generally been supportive of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“Bahrain is one of the most proactive with its central bank recently awarding regulated licences to an exchange. Other countries, including the UAE and Oman, are currently less crypto-friendly but there are no restrictions on buying or selling either,” he further added.
However, as the region is forward-thinking, I can see it becoming a major crypto hub in the near future, he said.
Explaining what a Bitcoin is and the reason for its growing popularity, Green said, “Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation and is growing in popularity due to its inherent traits.”
“These characteristics include that it is borderless, making it perfectly suited to a globalised world of commerce, trade, and people; that it is digital, making it an ideal match to the increasing digitalisation of our world; and also demographics are on the side of cryptocurrencies as younger people are more likely to embrace them than older generations,” he explained.
Besides, some of the world’s biggest institutions – amongst them multinational payment companies and Wall Street giants – are piling ever more into crypto, bringing with them their enormous expertise and capital, this, in turn, swells consumer interest.
There is also the argument that as governments continue to support economies and increase spending due to the pandemic, investors are increasingly going to look to Bitcoin as a hedge against the longer-term inflation concerns, he said.
Regarding some of the important countries that have allowed trading in Bitcoin, Green said, “Many major economies around the world including the US, the UK, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, the EU and Australia allow trading of cryptocurrencies.”The acceleration of institutional investment is likely to be driven by greater regulatory clarity. More and more global jurisdictions can be expected to join the likes of Malta, Hong Kong, Japan and Switzerland in becoming extremely crypto-friendly from a regulatory and pro-business viewpoint,” he further added.
Explaining the risk factors for individuals/companies who intend to trade in Bitcoin, the CEO said, “As with all investments, there is a risk to investing in Bitcoin, especially as the market can be extremely…