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How you can trade Bitcoin safely in the UAE

You may not have fallen for crypto scams yet, but the numbers are alarming. All throughout 2019, about USD 9 million was lost everyday in crypto scams. 

Remember that time you wanted to flash your debit card to pay for fuel only to realize that you forgot your wallet at home? Or maybe at work? Hold on a second, where is it? Has it been stolen? In an ideal world, you retrace your steps and find your wallet at the coffee shop and hopefully, your cash, debit and credit cards are all untouched. 

But in the crypto world, these kinds of mistakes are not so easy to undo.

As cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity, new hacks and scams have come to the attention of government authorities. In a new initiative to keep up and stay ahead of crypto scammers, the UAE’s Dubai Police HQ recently made headlines for combating crypto fraud in the region. A key strategy lies with the Dubai Police Virtual Asset Crime Section, which aims to bring about safety and transparency to UAE’s crypto ecosystem. By teaming up with key private sector players, such as BitOasis, the Dubai Police’s latest approach aims to create awareness and to take proactive steps to ensure financial safety in the region.

Speaking at a webinar hosted by CoinTelegraph ahead of the Future Blockchain Summit that is set to launch in Dubai from October 17-20, 2021, Exp Tarek Mohammed, Head of the Virtual Asset Crime Section, Dubai Police HQ. According to Exp Tarek Mohammed, “the UAE is not only on its way to becoming a crypto hub within the region, but it is also taking a hands-on approach to ensuring the financial security of the country, investors and all stakeholders operating within the crypto space.”

Ola Doudin, CEO and co-founder of BitOasis joined the discussion and she addressed some of the most pressing concerns around safety in the crypto ecosystem. According to her, “the crypto space cannot grow, and the growth cannot be sustainable if we don’t have regulation. We have been working with key policymakers to help them build regulation that will make crypto safe for investors. We are extremely lucky in that regard, because the UAE leadership’s stance towards crypto and blockchain technology has been very progressive.”

Is it safe to buy and sell Bitcoin and other crypto in UAE

The short answer is yes! Given that the UAE’s largest crypto exchange, BitOasis is now working in tandem with local authorities that are eager to stay ahead of crypto scammers. This creates more room for trust and addresses concerns around security risk. In fact, under the supervision of Exp Tarek Mohammed, all members of the Virtual Asset Crime Section of Dubai Police are undergoing extensive training to understand how the crypto and blockchain technology works. In a recently concluded panel discussion organized by Dubai Police’s General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID), BitOasis has participated in discussing the future of cryptocurrency in the UAE and how it’s working closely with Dubai Police HQ and law enforcement agencies to address the associated security risks. The ultimate objective is to evolve effective investigation methodologies to combat the risks associated with crypto trading.

Here’s why BitOasis is a safe place to start trading crypto

Expanding on how BitOasis is strategically partnering with Dubai Police HQ, Ola said, “there’s a string of scams happening on P2P platforms, and we are actively working with Dubai Police to educate investors and traders on the risks and how they can steer clear of them.”

How do I avoid crypto scams

Most crypto projects are wrapped in secrecy and at times unlicensed peer-to-peer exchanges can become a haven for money laundering. On that note, Exp Tarek Mohammed shed new light on safer and smarter crypto strategies. He said, “crypto investors should be wary of accepting payment in dirhams from an anonymous source, in exchange for cryptocurrency. With a significant chance that this payment may have come from the proceeds of crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking or other illicit activities, investors may unknowingly become complicit in the crime.”

The quest for legitimacy is now beginning to catch up with many global exchanges. But since the very beginning, the road to success at BitOasis had always been cohesive with the expectations of regulators in the UAE. But this is not the case with others. When asked about how some global exchanges are expanding and scaling too fast without any regulation holding them back, Ola said, “regulation will come sooner or later. The question is, do you have a sustainable relationship with regulators, and are you willing to walk together with them, before you can run. Ultimately, we are dealing with people’s money, so it is hugely important for us as a company to build trust into our platform and the wider ecosystem.”

Three things to do to avoid crypto scams 

1. Verify and cross-check: Don’t fall for fake websites, addresses and emails from scammers that do a very good job at looking authentic. 

2. Read the news: Crypto specific news channels will fill you in on the latest scams and hacks and sound the alarm on anything amiss in the ecosystem. 

3. Social media: Before you invest in any crypto, look for any bad press on social media and what others are commenting online.    

About Dubai Police – Virtual Assets Crime Section: Launched in April 2021, the ‘Virtual Assets Crime Section’ arm of Dubai Police is the first-of-its-kind within the region. Operating within the guidelines of the Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, this division aims to combat the risks within the crypto space. 

Also read: BitOasis links with UAE FIU GoAML platform