Dubai was the first city that provided the opportunity to purchase real estate using virtual currencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc. This way of investing continues to evolve and gain momentum, so cryptocurrency technology is being actively implemented in real estate development companies.
What is cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is a virtual monetary unit based on binary codes, which works as an exchange medium. Such currency is impossible to counterfeit, and the information about its issue is limited, the transactions performed and the number of the user’s funds are stored exclusively in his virtual wallet.
Cryptocurrency is conventionally divided into tokens and coins:
- Tokens are a digital payment system that is the main network driver. They are provided for each project. Tokens can be exchanged or bought.
- Coins are a medium obtained by computer systems with specialized chips. They can be used to make settlement transactions.
Essentially, virtual currency runs on blockchain technology, a cryptographic code that cannot be hacked or altered.
There are several answers to the question of how to buy cryptocurrency in Dubai, but the best way is to use exchange platforms regulated by the DFSA and the UAE Central Bank.
Cryptocurrency regulation in the UAE
Cryptocurrency funds are not taxed and they are virtually unregulated by government and legal entities, as well as banks. However, the International Financial Center in Dubai and the Financial Services, Commodities, and Securities Authority introduced a regulatory framework for investment tokens, regulating blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.
In the spring of 2021, a Consultation Paper was introduced, which is the first phase of the DFSA’s virtual asset regime. Its norms apply to people interested in trading entrepreneurship, marketing, financial services, trading, and insurance, as well as obtaining tokens through investments.
The next Advisory is related to service tokens, exchange tokens, and Stable Coins.
Buying real estate for cryptocurrency
The purchase, lease, and sale of real estate using digital currency are mediated through companies that are licensed by the DED (Department of Economics). Settlement transactions are made in any cryptocurrency convertible at a fixed rate.
The transaction begins with the selection of the property, then its terms are negotiated, which will be spelled out in the sales agreement. After the agreement is signed, the value of the selected property cannot be changed, and the parties to the transaction are not responsible for changes in the exchange rate of cryptocurrencies.
The buyer must transfer the agreed amount to the digital wallet of the merchant, including repayment of the service fee. Depending on the format of the transaction, the following steps are performed next:
- To transfer the cryptocurrency to the seller’s account, the buyer is issued an AED check-in. If the transaction involves real estate outside the plan, the money is transferred to an escrow account.
- If the transaction is made directly with the developer, a third-party contractor has been signed. The check has been given to the developer, and the buyer has been notified of the transfer of the cryptocurrency.
- If a completed property has been purchased, it is possible to pay for the transaction after receiving the check-in dirhams. The agent will help with the transaction and obtaining the Title.
Also, the buyer has to pay a fee when registering with the DLD. It is 4% of the total value of the property.