24 May

The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, the leading authority on agriculture in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a directive to farmers, prohibiting the practice of cryptocurrency mining on farms. According to reports, the agency informed farmers that utilizing farms for crypto mining is deemed inappropriate as it deviates from the intended agricultural purpose of the land.

Individuals found in violation of this directive could face penalties of up to 10,000 UAE dirhams, equivalent to approximately $2,722.

Cryptocurrency mining involves users earning digital currencies by verifying transactions on blockchain networks. Miners receive rewards for their efforts in solving complex mathematical puzzles and securing the network.

Despite the prohibition on crypto mining on farms, the UAE has positioned itself as a favorable jurisdiction for Bitcoin mining in the Middle East since 2023. Data at that time indicated that the UAE accounted for around 4% of Bitcoin's global hash rate, with a combined Bitcoin mining capacity of approximately 400 megawatts.

While the UAE has embraced cryptocurrencies, neighboring countries like Kuwait have taken a more stringent stance. Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority (CMA) announced a comprehensive ban on all cryptocurrency-related activities, including mining operations.

Despite varying regulatory approaches in the region, the UAE continues to attract crypto-related ventures. In May, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis and institutional infrastructure provider Blockdaemon expanded their operations into the UAE.

Chainalysis established its regional headquarters in Dubai on May 8, engaging with local authorities to offer guidance on regulatory matters and foster innovation. On May 13, Blockdaemon inaugurated a new office in Abu Dhabi, with approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), one of the country's financial regulators.

Key figures in the crypto industry view the UAE as progressive in its approach to cryptocurrencies. Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, praised Dubai's government, regulators, legal framework, and economic policies, highlighting their attractiveness to the crypto sector.

May 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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