UAE launches DubaiCoin, as Elon Musk tweet causes Bitcoin price surge


Cryptocurrency has dominated worldwide headlines, taken over the minds of basically every tech enthusiast, FinTech genius, business, and global governments across the spectrum.

Everyone is either buying it, investing in it, or mining it; through rise and fall, people are in full swing with crypto wallets popping up as far as the finger can scroll.

Over the last twelve months, Bitcoin has risen once again, soaring beyond $10,000, and hitting heights of more than $60,000. Dogecoin, a currency originally intended to be a digital joke, is also rising; once worth less than a fraction of a cent, it recently hit a high of $0.41.

The UAE is looking to join in on the action as it launches its very own DubaiCoin, with an international starting price of just $0.17 per one coin.

According to Arabian Chain Technology, the company in charge of handling the Gulf-based cryptocurrency, Dubai “plans to go further in its push to play an increasingly important role in the future of global finance and trade, and its plans for the next several years are firmly focused on DubaiCoin and the goal of becoming the world’s first blockchain-powered government.”

The move places the UAE alongside other major economies that have either already integrated or are currently considering their own digital currency such as the UK and U.S.

Arabian Chain Technology – which is a UAE-based venture and the first public, decentralized and consensus-driven blockchain in the MENA region – announced that DubaiCoin will soon be able to be used to pay for a range of goods and services both in-store and online, with the clear intention for the coin to be used in place of traditional bank-backed currencies.

In parallel, the coin’s circulation “will be controlled by both the city itself and authorized brokers.”

However, it is worth mentioning that the past ten days have been a rollercoaster ride the cryptocurrency market far and wide, as the price of Bitcoin went on a freefall earlier last week losing about 38 percent of its value since April 13 when it hit a high of more than $64,800, according to Coindesk.

The price of the famously volatile digital currency fell nearly 30 percent at one point after the China Banking Association warned member banks of the risks associated with digital currencies. The decline narrowed to below 10 percent in the afternoon, but Bitcoin had still lost about $70 billion in market value in 24 hours.

And if that wasn’t enough, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that his electric automaking company will stop accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment due to the environmental toll the currency is having when mining it.

But Musk backtracked on his statement earlier on Monday, as he tweeted that he “spoke with North American Bitcoin miners. They committed to publish current & planned renewable usage & to ask miners WW to do so. Potentially promising.”

With that in mind, American entrepreneur Michael Saylor reaffirmed Musk’s statement by adding that the “leading Bitcoin miners in North America have agreed to form the Bitcoin Mining Council to promote energy usage transparency & accelerate sustainability initiatives worldwide,” he said in tweet in reply to the Tesla CEO.

A number of Bitcoin fans pushed back on Musk’s reasoning. Fellow billionaire Mark Cuban said that gold mining is much more damaging to the environment than the mining of Bitcoin.

A 2019 study by the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the Bitcoin network generates an amount of CO2 similar to a large Western city or an entire developing country like Sri Lanka.

But a University of Cambridge study last year estimated that on average, 39 percent of “proof-of-work” crypto mining was powered by renewable energy, primarily hydroelectric energy.