LONDON: The lightbulb clicked in Ibrahim Barbor’s mind last winter. After watching a YouTube series about global financial markets, the young Dubai professional started researching bitcoin, a phenomenon he had heard about in online forums and passing headlines.

The more he learned, the more certain he became that bitcoin was a worthy investment. “I liked what it had to offer,” said Barbor.

“You’re in complete control of what you own, there is a limited supply of it so you can’t just print your way out of it like a government, and its value had been increasing for a while. So I said why not?”Barbor joined a growing number of people across the Middle East and throughout the world who believe that digital currencies like bitcoin are as good — or better — than cash backed by a central bank.

His investment appears prudent: Since he bought his first coin in February of last year, the value of the digital currency has risen astronomically from $1,000 to more than $16,000 at the end of last week. The spike in bitcoin prices has set the world of currency investing abuzz, and the Middle East is no exception. Read more from…

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