Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Business

Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla says cryptocurrencies and blockchain are the future

Businesses and individuals should refrain from trusting negative claims and warnings surrounding cryptocurrency, according to the chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.

Speaking at the Arabian Business Startup Academy, Dr Habib Al Mulla said such claims stem from regulators and governments’ struggles in controlling the digital currencies.

“You will hear many warnings that cryptocurrencies are risky, that they are not regulated, that they are being used in illegal activities, drug trafficking, illegal arms deals, and many illegitimate activities in the dark web. I would simply like to say, do not listen to these [claims]… They stem from the fact that regulators and governments are struggling to have control over cryptocurrencies and activities based on them, at least for now,” he said.

Concerns surrounding cryptocurrencies continue to puzzle top legal and financial experts in areas such as securities and commodities law, capital gain, taxes, international transactions, anti-money laundering and trading and investment practices, Dr Al Mulla said, with some experts claiming that many have already been scammed out of millions.

Experts also argue that initial coin offerings (ICOs) maybe utilised for activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing, with certain studies reporting as many as 59% of Americans do not share appropriate cryptocurrency gains to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Despite the claims, however, Dr Al Mulla said cryptocurrencies will likely ‘dominate’ the business environment.

“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are the future. And whether regulators or governments like it or not, cryptocurrencies will not only survive, and prevail, but they will most probably dominate,” he said.

The Arabian Business Startup Academy is a quarterly workshop that serves as a hub for conversation on the region’s latest business opportunities, start-up disruptions, funding deals, legal and regulatory steps to follow and much more.

This quarter’s event saw Dr Al Mulla share his views on the future of blockchain, the fast-growing platform for digital assets, and cryptocurrencies, the virtual means of exchange which it supports.

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