This week several entities each one in a different sector announced that they have become the first in their fields to accept crypto payments. Writing this piece I get a feeling that this will soon become common practice. For the past few months all one reads is more and more entities in UAE accepting crypto payments, whether they are schools, restaurants, property developers, Emirates airlines, retail shopping centers such as Majid Al Futtaim and many more. This time it is the turn for art galleries and charities. The majority of crypto enthusiasts and those passionate about Blockchain and crypto have been waiting for this for a long time; it signals the entrance of crypto into mainstream economy and once that happens there is no turning back. Bearish or bullish markets are of little significance because everyone is into crypto.

So Yesterday UAE based Galloire, art gallery announced that it is now accepting crypto payments such a Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDC for artwork sales globally. It is doing so through UAE based digital asset exchange, Midchains. Prior to this DAMAC properties announced it was accepting crypto payments through UAE based digital asset exchange Hayvn

Founder of Galloire Edward Gallagher said; “We have an absolute belief in the use of technology to bring art to as wide an audience as possible, so by using photorealistic VR and AR you’ve already seen us bring exhibitions from world-famous artists to tens of thousands more people than could have ever seen it in the gallery. We want more people to connect with contemporary art and also believe in an egalitarian approach to how people want to pay for that art: Why should we force a crypto-native person to pay in traditional (fiat) currency to acquire a beautiful painting, and vice-versa, why should a traditional collector looking to venture into NFTs have to pay in crypto-currency just to access some digital art they fall in love with?”

MidChains CEO Basil Al Askari said; “We are a company which prides itself on innovation and being able to provide safe and regulated ways to transact and invest with cryptocurrency, so working with Galloire to enable collectors to invest in art using their preferred cryptocurrency made perfect sense to us. Enabling people to pay securely for a physical asset with a digital asset, especially something as impactful as art, is a huge step forward in the UAE and we have been able to power that today, not in months or years’ time.”

Prior to this, UAE government backed nonprofit healthcare organization also became the first healthcare charity to accept cryptocurrency donations.  Al Jalila Foundation announced that it had been granted approval to receive charitable donations in cryptocurrencies. Again Al Jalila did this through a partnership with a leading cryptocurrency platform without naming it.  

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “As a philanthropic organization we rely on charitable donations and we are always seeking innovative ways to expand our donation channels for ease of convenience for donors from all around the world to support our programs. Therefore, as an emerging source of fundraising, providing the opportunity to the growing number of crypto users around the world to donate to Al Jalila Foundation to causes that interest them is a win-win for us as a foundation and the donor community. We are proud to be the first healthcare charity in the UAE to accept donations in cryptocurrencies bridging the gap between physical and digital currency.”

One thing remains to be seen, is when the UAE government announces that it accept crypto payments, then I will just call it a day and name UAE the crypto nation of 2022.