Crypto firms in the UAE have seen a flood of requests from Russians seeking to liquidate their digital assets. Sources highlighted that a number of clients are using cryptocurrency to invest in real estate in UAE, while some want to convert their virtual money into hard cash.
There have also been reports of Swiss brokers wanting to liquidate billions of dollars of bitcoin. Their clients fear that Switzerland would freeze their assets, and none of the requests have been less than $2 billion.
An executive revealed that they have received five or six similar requests in the past two weeks. But it has fallen over in the last minute. He said the liquidation requests coming in are just coming in. The executive highlighted that his firm normally receives such inquiries once a month. He shared that one client wanted to sell 125,000 bitcoin. And that’s a whopping $6 billion!
Experts said that crypto firms in the UAE are getting such queries because of the oil-rich nation’s stance not to take sides with either the Western allies or Russia. As such, cryptocurrency holders feel their money will be safe there. A real estate broker said a lot of Russians and Belarusians are turning up in Dubai with crypto.
Sources also said that Russians are buying property, using cryptocurrency, in Dubai. This is a way of keeping the money out of other jurisdictions. However, some crypto companies are blocking accounts of Russians who have been sanctioned by the West because of the Ukraine invasion. The major crypto exchange like Binance and Coinbase are seeing to that digital assets are not being used as a vehicle to evade sanctions.
With crypto holders turning to UAE, lawmakers are skeptical that the country would crack the whip on Russian wealth.