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UAE approves crypto for Ramadan donations



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that government entities and authorities will now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for donations during the holy month of Ramadan.

The next Ramadan is expected to start on the evening of Wednesday, March 22, 2023, and will last for 30 days, ending at sundown on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

According to the Khaleej Times, authorised individuals and entities responsible for collecting funds during Ramadan can now receive payments in Bitcoin and various digital currencies. 

This has not been the case in previous years especially as Bitcoin has reached a new ATH and halving is fast approaching.

Speaking about the new step taken by the government, Mohammed Naqi, Director of the Non-Benefit Public Associations Department, and Mona Khalil, Director of Government Communications, emphasised that while crypto can now be collected during Ramadan, unauthorised individuals or entities collecting funds during Ramadan could face fines of up to Dh500,000 or even imprisonment.

In particular, Mohammed Naqi cautioned that individuals collecting or receiving donations from outside the UAE in violation of regulations could face a minimum fine of Dh500,000 or imprisonment. 

Additionally, misusing donation funds may result in fines ranging from Dh300,000 to Dh150,000, along with the possibility of imprisonment.

During Ramadan, only 34 approved entities, such as charities and government bodies, can receive donations. They accept various methods, including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has positioned itself as a significant player in the global cryptocurrency industry, fostering an environment conducive to crypto innovation and growth. 

Its cryptocurrency market is projected to grow substantially by an estimated 7.89% increase from 2024 to 2028, resulting in a market volume of US$395.8 million by 2028.

The nation has also been actively regulating digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, since 2023. In February 2023, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) took over the regulation and supervision of the cryptocurrency sector, with effect from 17 April 2023.

The SCA began accepting applications from companies intending to provide cryptocurrency services within the country, directing all virtual-asset service providers to apply for approval. 

The UAE Central Bank also issued anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations for cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens in May 2023.

Read also; Binance receives cybersecurity award from Hong Kong Authorities

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