The UAE emerged as among the fastest growing markets for cryptocurrency adoption worldwide in 2024 so far, fuelled by a surge in the use of digital currencies for daily payments and investments, with Bitcoin spot ETF (exchange traded fund) emerging as the ‘digital gold’ for investors, a latest research said.

The upsurge in the growth of the crypto market in the UAE, in turn, is expected to attract more international and regional crypto companies into the country.

The growing trust on cryptocurrencies and seamlessness of their trading are cited as the major factors driving more and more users closer to adopting this emerging tech, the research by Bitget, a leading global crypto exchange and web3 company, said.

The Bitget study also revealed a whopping 166 percent year-over-year increase in daily crypto traders across the Middle East region, reaching an average of 500,000 till April 2024.

This number is predicted to reach over 700,000 daily traders by the end of 2024.

“The UAE leads the region in adoption, with a remarkable 72 percent of local users investing in Bitcoin,”  Vugar Usi Zade, COO of Bitget, told Arabian Business.

“The UAE has also seen the highest statistics in terms of interest towards cryptocurrencies, as 29 percent of users surveyed for out study believe that digital assets offer a more convenient way of holding assets, making it one of the fastest-growing markets globally for cryptocurrency adoption rate,” he said.

Surge in adoption to trigger influx of international and regional crypto firms

Usi Zade said the on-going growth of the crypto market in the UAE is expected to attract more international and regional crypto companies.

“The UAE’s regulatory environment and crypto-friendly policies have created a safe haven for crypto companies to grow.

“The region’s increasing adoption rates, high daily active users, and strategic placement between European and Asian markets further strengthens its position globally, triggering the influx of more companies into the UAE – and also the Middle East – region,” he said.

The Bitget COO said historically, the UAE’s openness to technological and financial innovation proves its importance for companies seeking growth opportunities in the Middle East.

“These factors combined make the UAE a central hub for crypto and blockchain talent, capital, and enterprises, driving entry and expansion of both international and regional crypto companies in the region,” he said.

Crypto frenzy spreading into more and more countries in Middle East

The Bitget study revealed that more and more Middle Eastern countries are re-evaluating cryptocurrencies with an open and embracing attitude, making them one of the fastest-growing regions in terms of cryptocurrency adoption rate worldwide.

“Core assets like Bitcoin have gradually become compliant and an important alternative asset,” it said.

The report also said Middle Eastern users are increasingly showing an open attitude towards cryptocurrency trading and interaction with on-chain projects, leading to a growing use of cryptocurrencies for transfers, especially in areas with low penetration of traditional banking services.

Bitget, which has seen its trading volumes posting a whopping 500 percent jump in the MENA region over the last six months, said Middle Eastern users also have a keen interest in speculating on memecoins, paying attention to the market’s heat map, and possessing a quick grasp of the crypto market’s trends.