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UAE Offers Friendlier Crypto Scene Than US Due to Political Stability: Komodo CTO

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
UAE crypto

Komodo CTO Kadan Stadlemann said the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) political stability fosters a friendlier environment for crypto businesses to flourish, compared to the challenges they face in the US.

In a jab at democracies, he said the UAE’s biggest advantage is its monarchy. The exec believes the UAE’s stable leadership, free from the back-and-forth policy changes of democracies, creates a more friendly environment for crypto businesses to grow.

In an interview with CryptoNews, he credited the country’s “very stable political basis” as key to its startup friendliness. He also pointed to the UAE royal family’s “genius approach,” which he believes has laid the groundwork for the country’s booming economic growth.

Stadlemann was attesting to the UAE making efforts to welcome crypto companies. All virtual asset service providers need to get licensed from the Virtual Asset Regulatory before they can operate there.

The CTO also highlighted that UAE’s low crime rate creates a safe environment that supports business growth. He attributes this to strict laws that target crime effectively.

On the other hand, he criticized the US for its overregulated crypto environment.

Crypto Exec Advocates For US Regulatory Reform for Crypto Growth

The Securities and Exchange Commission is typically called out for its “overreach” in handling crypto-related matters. In 2023, the regulator filed 46 enforcement actions within the industry and raked up fines worth $2.8b.

“I believe the US (crypto economy) is being let down,” Stadelmann said. He added that he knows of several crypto projects that have chosen to relocate from the US to more welcoming regions like Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the UAE.

“I believe they need industry experts involved, with all due respect. But I believe that’s what you get when you have a bunch of boomers and noobs try to regulate something they really literally don’t understand,” he said.

“After years of struggle within the regulatory layer, you just get tired of it. And that’s kind of where we are.”

The crypto exec called for a smarter approach to crypto regulation. He emphasized the industry’s wealth of expertise in core blockchain technology and its principles. This knowledge, he says, can be harnessed to develop regulations that protect investors and prevent illegal activity, without stifling innovation. Stadlemann believes regulators need to re-evaluate their current frameworks to find a more balanced approach.

Stadelmann’s Relocation Shows UAE Wins Crypto Talent as Netherlands Loses Grip

For over 7 years, Stadlemann has been part of the team at Komodo, an open-source, end-to-end blockchain and cryptocurrency platform. JL777, an anonymous leader, spearheaded Komodo’s creation in 2014. This decentralized platform allows developers across industries to conduct anonymous transactions.

The exec now plans to relocate from Amsterdam to the UAE, leaving what he sees as growing hostility towards crypto in the Netherlands. This trend is also causing DEX and DeFi projects to depart the Netherlands.

Facing regulatory hurdles in the Netherlands, Binance too pulled out of the Dutch market after failing to secure a virtual asset service provider license.

Stadelmann cited Dubai’s “extremely startup friendly legal framework” as the reason behind his relocation.

“I have a huge network of crypto entrepreneurs, and they’re following the same trend,” he said. “They are heading down to Dubai, to Abu Dhabi.”

“I believe the UAE is going to take over the financial world and become the financial epicentre in regards to what Frankfurt, London, Zurich, New York, Chicago are today.”