Dubai has definitely been keeping up with the global tech-boom that has been going on, maintaing their revolutionized status quo as the capital of the Middle East, and incorporating their first Bitcoin ATM will definitely put them on the map. The Bitcoin ATM, located in Dubai Media City, has officially been activated establishing a huge buzz as the virtual currency is exponentially being promoted due to its wider use in the untapped Midldle Eastern market. Now believe it or not, this ATM allows you to actually deposit money into your Bitcoin wallet, which is the name of the virtual account that you obtain.
But the action isn’t only settling into one kiosk, as Umbrellab, the entity that is developing the Bitcoin technology, is planning on integrating this mind-blowing system into 300 already existing electronic service kiosks which operate in everything from shopping malls to hotels across the UAE. Each individual will be able to take out the approximate equivalent of 10,000 Dh a month which translates to about 3000 USD. Excited Sergey Yusupov, the co-founder of Umbrellab, announced that “people are welcome to come and give the ATM a go. We are seeing how everything goes from a legal perspective with the first ATM, as well as making sure it is stable before rolling them out.”
As we all have been speculating and reflecting over whether or not Bitcoin will actually take off, it has been showing significant exponential growth ever since it launched in 2009. With that being said, these extraordinary ATMs were launched with the vision of pushing and expanding Bitcoins’ broader adoption in the Gulf region. And just to throw it out there, Bitcoin is a global online currency that excludes and reduces the need to exchange different international currencies, bypasses legal frameworks and acts as a speculation vehicle – and it seems to be working out pretty good.
But the idea of integrating Bitcoin into the Middle East is pretty rational as the youthful population is rapidly growing as well as the high proportion of migrant labors – integrating Bitcoin will not only save them time, but money if they want to tap into it! It has the actual potential to enable the high population of migrants to transfer capital back to their home countries at crazy lower prices than the regular exchange banks, considering their “cheap” to non-existent commission rates. Not mentioning the colossal capital and funds in the Gulf region who are always hungry for new venues to invest and grow their returns…
Now obviously this “innovational technology” has further long-term effects, as 60 to 70 percent of adults across the Middle East, believe it or not, don’t have access to any banking services, which includes “no transactions”, leaving them stuck in a cash economy. Here is where Bitcoin comes to the rescue as it eliminates all those barriers: all that is required is a modern connection to the old fashioned internet or regular cell-phone.
Dubai has capitalized on its long-going momentum of a dynamic and expanding financial empire, taking advantage of technological prestigious award-wining innovations that westernized Dubai and turned it into the cosmopolitan destination it is today. Bitcoin is yet another piece in the puzzle that has been incorporated into the UAE, making it a more integrated and a well established empire that has yet so much more to offer in the future.
Picture Credit: ArabCrunch