A new pacemaker has arrived in the crypto world, as the United Arab Emirates raced to the front of the pack take the first place crown in token sales for 2019. The U.S., which has been the outright leader in prior years, is sadly now in seventh place, due primarily to the regulatory clampdown that is sweeping the country. U.A.B. accounted for more that a quarter of all funds raised in the four months ended in April, although from a pure count of tokens sold, Singapore and the U.K. excelled in that metric in that order.
CoinSchedule, an entity that tracks the token market, posted its findings last week. Per one report:
Sales in U.A.E. amassed more than $210 million to take the crown from the market’s longtime leader, the U.S., which tumbled from first place for 2018 to seventh in recent months. Last year, the U.A.E. didn’t rank among the top 10 countries by funds raised in token sales, the data show.
Alex Buelau, chief executive officer of CoinSchedule, noted that:
We are seeing the continuation of the move away from the USA due to regulatory concerns. U.S. regulators have been cracking down on initial coin offerings, known as ICOs, that they say should’ve been registered as securities.
According to CoinSchedule, the U.A.B. jumped up in the polling data, due to two large deals, which originated in country. First, $142 million was raised for GCBIB, a development effort designed to create banking and insurance products for cryptocurrency holders. Secondly, Bolton Coin raised $67 million in order to create new ways to invest in mining and real estate.
Much has been written about the competitive race around the globe to create technology centers and favorable legislation to attract major players in the crypto community. U.A.B. and Saudi Arabia have both been contenders in this race. The Abu Dhabi Global Market was established in the U.A.B. to help it diversify its economy by “working on a regulatory framework for a crypto ecosystem that allows for ICOs”. Both the U.A.B. and Saudi Arabia have been dabbling with research in the crypto arena and experimenting with various approaches to promote growth in each country via proprietary digital currencies.
It appears from news reports this week that Saudi Arabia is the first to lead on this front. Per other reports:
The news today is that the Saudi British Bank (SABB), a Riyadh-based Saudi joint stock company sporting $50 billion in assets, announced the launch of its cross-border payment service in collaboration with the Ripple blockchain network and its XRP cryptocurrency.
A pilot program had been tested in 2018, and the first market chosen to serve will be the large Indian diaspora, some 8.5 million strong in the Gulf states: “The Indian Rupee (INR) is a positive start to an upcoming roadmap being the first currency to be activated in SABB.” Other currencies will follow at later dates.