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Fri 8 Jun 2018 12:04 PM

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'Cryptocurrency is here to stay' says PayTabs founder

Saudi-based fintech company to speed up remittance through cryptocurrency

'Cryptocurrency is here to stay' says PayTabs founder
Abdulaziz Al Jouf, CEO of Saudi-based digital payment solutions company PayTabs.

Despite remaining widely unregulated and highly volatile, cryptocurrency will continue to be used, according to the CEO of Saudi-based digital payment solutions company PayTabs.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Abdulaziz Al Jouf said it is unlikely that the digital currency will be banned.

“Cryptocurrency is here to stay. How this will happen? There are different dimensions and different directions where this will go. Keep in mind that until today, central banks are trying hard to ban [cryptocurrency] because they feel it is out of [their] control,” he said.

Al Jouf said the digital payment was initially launched to protect the financial market in case of a collapse.

“If you think back to why cryptocurrency launched, it is because of the massive collapse in 2011… [It aimed] to make sure currencies and money is protected everywhere,” he said.

Al Jouf’s fintech firm PayTabs processes all transactions for cryptocurrencies in 10 countries across MENA and Asia. Most investors, he said, use the currency to make an ‘extra buck.’ But a bigger problem lies in the use of the digital payment option.

“People still use it for the fun of making extra bucks. Of course it’s risky and anything new is risky. There’s a lot of hype on how to make money out of it. I’m sure you heard that if you had bought x amount of bitcoin… You’re a billionaire today. But in reality, there’s a big issue on how to get this money out of the cryptocurrency industry,” he said.

Nevertheless, with the help of exchange houses in Asia, Al Jouf is finding ways of using cryptocurrency to speed up remittance.

“We’re working on a couple of projects in Asia on how to use cryptocurrency so that it’s still compliant with regulation. We’re working on speeding up the process of someone who wants to send money abroad from [Dubai] to the Philippines, for example,” he said.

Al Jouf also added that blockchain, the leading platform for digital assets, remains largely untapped.

“Blockchain [in its current form] is not doing anything. We need to implement it somewhere on our surface. You see a lot of people talking about blockchain, but there’s the question of why do you need to use blockchain and how you can implement it in your business. In Europe, many companies completely shifted their businesses to blockchain. We need some time in the region to see [that]… I see it progressing in some areas, but it will require some time,” he said.

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