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How To Buy And Trade Cryptocurrency Legally in The UAE?

Although UAE considers Bitcoin illegal, you can still buy and trade bitcoins. And it’s not that hard. One of the most important things you should consider is to choose a good broker account that will make things even easier. In this article, we will tell you how you can buy Bitcoin in the UAE in a legal way.

First of all, to begin trading cryptocurrency, the people living in the UAE have to consider something that will let them open accounts in cryptocurrency exchange firms and trade them while staying in the UAE.

Bitcoin is one of the most liquid cryptocurrency and is used worldwide for different purposes like trading, investing, and shopping. Since Bitcoin is accepted globally, it also can be used to buy different cryptocurrencies.

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Is Bitcoins legal in the UAE?

As of the current situation (29 January 2021), the government of UAE hasn’t made Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency legal in its territories. However, citizens are allowed to buy and trade bitcoins staying in the UAE.

In simpler terms, the government of the UAE doesn’t allow Bitcoin to be traded in terms of money in the market. That means you can’t buy anything directly with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency within the United Arab Emirates. 

But the government doesn’t restrict its regulations either. You are free to own any number of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies and sell them in the cryptocurrency exchanges and get cash from them.

Recently, the Central Bank of Bahrain provided a license to CoinMena– a new digital assets exchange. The exchange now can directly operate from the Central Bank. The exchange firm is open to users in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. CoinMena will allow users to deposit, withdraw, and trade in the user’s local currency. The exchange on launch will offer five major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin(LTC), and Bitcoin Cash(BCH).

Which Bitcoin Wallet keeps you safe? 

While Ledger Nano S and Trezor are the best fit for storing Bitcoin, there are plenty of cryptocurrency wallets or bitcoin wallets that promise you the safety and security of your cryptocurrencies. And without a proper wallet, your cryptocurrency is at high risk of being stolen or hacking. So, a major and initial step before you start trading bitcoins would be getting yourself a cryptocurrency wallet, that will keep your bitcoins safe.  Most importantly, these wallets come with a private key that will help you to authorize your wallet with the computer.

Selecting a reliable wallet is your utmost priority for securing your cryptocurrency, you should next consider choosing a broker. Remember choosing a broker is very much important while buying and trading bitcoins in the UAE. Although you can find in-built wallets, they are not safe and are very prone to theft since they are centralized.

Most of the international currencies exchanges like CoinBase – a US-based cryptocurrency trading platform don’t allow people of certain geographical regions to trade on their platform. So, many Investors living in the Middle-East prefer to use regional or local cryptocurrency exchanges, which will make buying and trading of Bitcoins easier. 

While you step into the cryptocurrency market, let us guide you towards the most suitable cryptocurrency trading platform in the UAE. So let’s jump and find out the crypto wallets that are available in UAE so you can start your Bitcoin trades.

UAE residents’ most used Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

According to Buybitcoinworldwide.com, here are the lists of popular cryptocurrency exchanges that are based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and are used most by residents living in the UAE. Let’s have a look at how each of the exchanges works and how it can be useful.

  1. Rain

Rain started its service in 2017 as a trial. And by 2019, Rain was the first cryptocurrency exchange that got approved to earn a regulatory license in the middle east by the Central Bank of Bahrain. Based in Bahrain, the cryptocurrency exchange platform provides its services to people in the middle east like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. Some features of Rain includes:

  • 24/7 customer service support
  • International Standard Pricing
  • Low fees
  • Licensed by Central Bank of Bahrain
  • Withdraw and deposits available in Local Currency (BHD, AED, USD, SAR, KWD, OMR, EUR)

Moreover, the user interface is easy and fees are low. However, some basic things need to be improved in Rain. 

Rain doesn’t maintain high privacy standards regarding cryptocurrency exchange which is not a good thing. Also, the broker service is required to make the transaction, which can make the transaction lengthy. 

Ease of UseEasy
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
LimitsHigh
  1. BitOasis

Like Rain, BitOasis is also focused on Middle East nations. Founded in 2015, this Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange is one of the largest in the Middle East for trading Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies. 

One of the best things about BitOasis is that it lets UAE nationals make transactions through the local currency (AED) just like Rain. Also, the nationals can use their local credit cards. In addition to those, BitOasis also lets you store cryptocurrency on their platform, as online web wallets.

However, BitOasis has some requirements and regulations when it comes to trading a Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

BitOasis requires a minimum deposit of Dh 300 which is accepted through direct bank transfers or cash deposits. There are different exchange houses, through which UAE clients can deposit their money.

Also, the platform requires identity verification for more than USD 500 per week. If you will be having a transaction of more than USD 500 per week, you can’t stay anonymous on the platform. While it may require an authentic verification, the platform also requires more than one signature to transfer funds. This can be a perk where the client’s amount stays safe. 

On certain platforms, they take a charge of a certain percentage whenever a transaction happens. Similarly, BitOasis also charges you a 0.5 percent flat fee when you deposit, trade, or withdraw on your orders. This is however less percent compared to other international exchange platforms.

Ease of UseHard
PrivacyLow
SpeedAverage
FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
LimitsHigh
  1. Palmex

Based in Dubai, Palmex is the younger cryptocurrency exchange that was established in 2018. Even though the site focuses on UAE nationals, it requires Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to deposit into the account. The firm does not accept fiat currency for the deposit. While the exchange has strict rules for depositing funds, the firm also claims to provide better security standards and fewer trading fees than other cryptocurrency exchanges in the Middle east.

The firm has standard rates for taking charges. When the monthly transaction is up to USD 200,000 (Dh 734,598), the exchange charges 0.40 percent as a ‘Taker ‘ fee and 0.25 percent as a ‘Maker’ fee while trading for Bitcoin. Also, if you trade DBIX – a Dubai-based cryptocurrency they offer minimum trading fees for it and if your monthly trading volume is more than USD 500,000, it takes 0 percent for selling (Maker) and only 0.2 percent for buying (Taker) in DBIX. You can also find more about trading fees here

Ease of UseAverage
PrivacyHigh
SpeedAverage
FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
LimitsHigh

Before we move further let’s give a brief description of new terms that are used here in the blog.

Why is FIAT Currency not so important?

Any currency which is issued by the Government and isn’t backed by a commodity or an underlying asset such as Gold is known as Fiat Money or Fiat Currency. These currencies are established by the government and they have full regulations towards them. 

In simple terms, FIAT money is controlled by Central Banks and has greater control over the economy, as they can control how much money to produce. Some examples of FIAT currency are the US Dollar and almost all paper currencies of the modern world.

Overall, Fiat money does not have its value. People use it because the government tells them to use it and it is accepted by the people for engaging in exchanges. 

4. Binance

Binance is based in Hong Kong and within 8 months after the platform was launched in July 2017, it became a great success. Today, Binance has joined the community of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The platform processes more than USD 1 Billion (DH 3.67 Billion) daily.

Binance has a special feature of categorizing its traders into VIP Levels. The VIP Level ranges from Level 0 to Level 9. The levels are based upon 30 -days trading volume or 24- hour Binance Coin holdings. 

Unlike Palmex, Binance accepts both fiat currency and cryptocurrency for depositing and withdrawing funds. Also, if you are new to the Binance platform and don’t hold any Binance supported currencies, Binance allows you to purchase cryptocurrency by credit or debit card, cash balances, or by third payments. Binance has undoubtedly made sure to access the payments more quickly.

Also, when it comes to the trading fees, Binance seems to keep it minimum as well. It doesn’t charge any fees on deposits. However, there are Withdrawal fees of 0.15 percent, with a minimum amount of 3 Euros (Dh 13.31) and a maximum of 15 Euros (Dh 66.57). 

Ease of UseAverage
PrivacyHigh
SpeedAverage
FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
LimitsHigh

5. Kraken

Karen is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Founded in mid-2011, Karen is the largest in Europe and is available in almost all countries. With being a giant in the cryptocurrency exchanges, you can make deposits to your Kraken account through bank wire, SEPA, ACH, and SWIFT.

The platform also charges a relatively low Taker Fee starting with 0.25 percent which will gradually decrease to 0.1 percent if you have sufficient trading volume. While the Maker fee can drop to almost 0 percent with sufficient trading volume. 

Kraken offers one of the finest high-rated security and data protection to the traders in its platform. Although the exchange requires an ID verification, one cannot stay anonymous on the platform.

However, the user interface of Kraken is complex and many beginners who are into cryptocurrency trading will find it difficult. Also, the company is based in the US, so the users must comply with the country’s regulations. 

Ease of UseHard
PrivacyHigh
SpeedFast
FeesLow
ReputationTrusted
LimitsHigh

Considering the Maker and Taker fee will make you a better trader

When you will trade Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency, you will be entering the existing market, where there will be an order book in which different users will publish their rates of a certain amount of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. A Maker fee and Taker fee depends upon the order book.

Jumping straight into the points, a maker fee is when you create an order on the order book. Remember an order could both buy and sell depending upon the user. Now when someone from the exchanges accepts your order or takes your order and completes it, you don’t have to pay any fee for it. But on the other side, the user who accepts your order will be paying the fee. 

If we turn the table, the Taker fee is when you complete someone else’s order, just like someone else completed yours. And this time, you have to pay a taker fee.

Usually, taker fees are higher than maker fees. To learn more about Taker and Maker fee visit here.

How to find which cryptocurrency trading platform suits you best in the UAE?

UAE charges a low tax rate, regulatory environment, and has political stability, most of the cryptocurrency exchanges deploy their quarters in the Emirates.

There are several cryptocurrency exchanges in the UAE that offer multiple exchanges of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many more. And there is UAE-based cryptocurrency that offers bitcoins and other different digital cryptocurrencies.

Residents of the UAE are mostly benefited if they use local exchanges that are based in UAE itself. However, you can also choose international exchanges that accept accounts from Emirates. However, some of the regional exchanges like localbitcoins.com publish the local buyers and sellers within the UAE. In addition to those, they also provide payment methods and bid and offer prices.

They also get official support for cryptocurrency, which makes bitcoin a very attractive investment. Although, its value keeps on fluctuating but is also relative to national currencies. This means they are accepted by traders and merchants or even normal people worldwide. 

Is there a Bitcoin ATM in the UAE, Dubai?

You can find only one Bitcoin ATM in the United Arab Emirates, which is located at Rixos Premium Hotel in Dubai.

To start with, Bitcoin ATMs are simple machines from where you can buy Bitcoins directly with Cash. 

Yes, you heard us right. Just buy Bitcoins directly through cash via Bitcoin ATMs.The best part about Bitcoin ATMs is that they are private, quick, and easy. 

But here’s the con about this. While the trading platform takes 0.15 to 0.25 percent trading fee, Bitcoin ATMs charge you with 5 – 10 percent fees.

You can both sell and buy bitcoins within the span of half an hour for the charge of whipping 5 to 10 percent. Unless it’s an emergency or you find it cool enough, trading coins through a bitcoin ATM would not be a good idea every day.

Picture of Bitcoin ATM at Rixos Premium Hotel in Dubai (Source: Buy Bitcoins Worldwide)

How to buy and trade bitcoins in the UAE?

Once you have set up your broker account and verified your wallet address, you can buy bitcoins either from one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that allow people from UAE to trade on their platform. You can also buy bitcoins directly from Bitcoin ATMs with cash but as we said earlier, they take extra charge for making it easier, quick, and convenient. 

What is the Price of Bitcoin in the UAE?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a cryptocurrency and its value keeps fluctuating from every hour to every day. The best way to find the price of Bitcoin in the UAE or elsewhere is to look at the renowned cryptocurrency exchange mobile apps and websites where live charts of all major currencies are shown. You can convert it to your local currency using any currency converter. Check the latest update and prices of Bitcoins in UAE at CoinDesk.

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