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UAE cryptocurrency investors made gains worth $204 million in 2023

In 2023, Bitcoin was the top choice for UAE investors, making up 70% of their gains, with Ethereum trailing behind at 24%.

UAE cryptocurrency investors made gains worth $204 million in 2023
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

With Bitcoin leading the charge as the preferred digital asset, the UAE has seen a remarkable surge in crypto participation among investors. 

Last year, UAE investors raked in $204 million in profits from their cryptocurrency holdings, according to a new report by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. This figure places the UAE second in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region behind Saudi Arabia, whose investors saw $351 million in gains.

The global cryptocurrency market experienced a rebound in 2023, with total investor gains reaching $37.6 billion. While significantly lower than the record-breaking $159.7 billion in profits seen during the 2021 bull run, it marks a significant improvement compared to the estimated $127.1 billion in losses incurred in 2022.

Bitcoin reigned supreme as the preferred cryptocurrency among UAE investors, accounting for 70% of their total gains in 2023. Ethereum followed closely behind, contributing 24% of the profits. 

Notably, no other cryptocurrency cracked the 3% mark, with XRP, the native token of Ripple, taking the third-place spot with only a 3% share.

“This focus on established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum suggests a level of maturity among UAE investors,” commented Kim Grauer, Director of Research at Chainalysis. “They seem to favor well-recognized digital assets with a proven track record over more speculative ventures.”

The report highlights the recent surge in Bitcoin’s value, which reached a record high of $72,100 on March 11, 2023. This increase can be attributed partly to the decision by the UK’s financial regulator to allow applications for crypto asset-backed exchange-traded notes (cETNs) to trade on the London Stock Exchange.

Furthermore, the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in January is pivotal for the cryptocurrency industry. This move offers a regulated path for institutional and retail investors, potentially marking the end of the Wild West era in crypto.

The upcoming Bitcoin halving, scheduled for next month, where the reward for miners is cut in half to maintain scarcity, is another factor contributing to the current bullish sentiment. With these positive trends continuing into 2024, experts like Grauer predict the possibility of seeing gains closer to those observed in 2021.

The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.

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