Crypto Adoption in Dubai and the Indian Tea Seller

Dubai is fast emerging as the friendliest place for cryptocurrency business. The Bitcoin Magazine recently reported the agreement between the Royal Family of Dubai company Seed Group and a crypto exchange in UAE. A tweet also talks about the readiness of ‘a large number of companies’, probably in Dubai, to accept Bitcoin as legal tender for transactions.

Dubai is actively attracting crypto businesses. It has not legalized cryptocurrencies as legal tender, but citizens can buy and trade digital assets. As per Mondaq.com, there are no taxes or reporting requirements either. Well known exchanges like Bybit, FTX and Binance operate in the country. This has been followed recently by the formation of the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law, and the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

According to Binayah.com, some property dealers may accept bitcoin or ether for selling real estate. This has however led to money laundering, and a recent move requires reporting of any such transaction.

Here is the official statement – https://www.mofaic.gov.ae/en/mediahub/news/2022/8/8/08-08-2022-uae-real-estate

In India, the most expected has happened – a tea seller accepts crypto for tea, though the seller has a very different history and is an educated college student, as reported in the Indian Express recently.

Shubham Saini is in his twenties, who was studying at the Indira Gandhi University in Rewari, travelled to Bangalore. He began crypto trading soon, and in 2020, when the market dipped, he invested all of his savings As luck and moon wishers would have it, his investment skyrocketed. The report states that his Rs 1.5 lakh soon became Rs 30 lakh. Saini left his studies to focus on crypto trading, only to encounter the subsequent market decline.

His tea stall is called Frustrated Dropout, and attracts crypto followers. Saini claims there is business too – he had learnt about people paying crypto to buy tea in Bangalore.

For such micro payments, Saini uses Paxful with Lightning. The buyer scans a QR code, converts rupees to dollar first, then pays in crypto. The tax implications of this business are not clear, as much as that of any other tea seller.

Bangalore, the IT hub of India, is the obvious place where cryptocurrencies can experiment and figure out their next steps. At the height of Bitcoin boom back in 2018, there was even a Bitcoin ATM set up in the city to directly buy crypto.

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