Russians liquidating crypto in the UAE, seek safe havens
DUBAI, March 11 (Reuters) – Crypto firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are being deluged with requests to liquidate billions of dollars of virtual currency as Russians seek a safe haven for their fortunes, company executives and financial sources said.
Some clients are using cryptocurrency to invest in real estate in the UAE, while others want to use firms there to turn their virtual money into hard currency and stash it elsewhere, the sources said.
One crypto firm has received lots of queries in the past 10 days from Swiss brokers asking to liquidate billions of dollars of bitcoin because their clients are afraid Switzerland will freeze their assets, one executive said, adding that none of the requests had been for less than $2 billion.
“We’ve had like five or six in the past two weeks. None of them have come off yet – they’ve sort of fallen over at the last minute, which is not rare – but we’ve never had this much interest,” the executive said, adding that his firm normally receives an inquiry for a large transaction once a month.
“We have one guy – I don’t know who he is, but he came through a broker – and they’re like, ‘we want to sell 125,000 bitcoin’. And I’m like, ‘what? That’s $6 billion guys’. And they’re like, ‘yeah, we’re going to send it to a company in Australia’,” the executive said.
Switzerland’s financial market supervisor declined to comment on cryptocurrency transaction volumes.
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