With exchanges like Binance still running ambassadorships in African countries, students have become increasingly skeptical of the programs, following their experiences with FTX. “You cannot find Binance doing campus programs in US universities and campuses, but they know Africa is a place where you can do things, speak to some regulators, and get as many users as you want.” “People are no longer thinking about working for a big exchange anymore, they’re looking at how insured is this, and how much of my reputation am I putting on the line,” said the former FTX student ambassador.
The United Arab Emirates’ hubs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai had identical scores for crypto regulatory structure and crypto adoption, two of the most heavily weighted criteria in the ranking overall. But while the UAE’s regulatory structure is top tier – and accounts for 35% of its total score – its crypto adoption score (measuring 10%) was in the bottom quintile. Arguably, the low score is a reflection of the greater Emirati population, rather than the behavior of the residents of Abu Dhabi and Dubai themselves. In nearly every other criteria we measured, the capital of the UAE trailed Dubai by a hair, including quality of life, ease of doing business and digital infrastructure (all criteria in the enablers category) and per-capita crypto jobs, companies and events (which comprise the opportunities category).
Dubai and its sibling hub Abu Dhabi were rated tops in the regulatory structure, the most heavily weighted criterion at 35% of the total score. But the impact was blunted by the UAE’s bottom-quintile crypto adoption score, indicating that the larger population of the UAE is not as crypto-savvy as the residents in these two hubs. Despite the low overall drivers category score, Dubai cemented its place in the top five with high scores in opportunities category, which measured per-capita crypto events, companies and jobs. The emirate also achieved the second-highest quality of life score in our entire sample. Part of the enablers category, quality of life was the second-heaviest weighted criterion, at 15% of the total score.