June 4, 2023

The Middle Eastern nation of Abu Dhabi has established a government agency to develop a strategy for regulating and promoting digital assets. Abu Dhabi has become one of the well-known crypto hubs to approve the licensing of branches of several digital asset companies.

In late August, the Abu Dhabi Blockchain and Virtual Assets Council (ADBVAC) held its inaugural meeting chaired by Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). The committee will oversee crypto regulation and promote the digital asset industry within its jurisdiction. As part of the discussions, the newly formed committee seeks to introduce a regulatory framework to create a secure, robust and transparent ecosystem for virtual assets. Additionally, it seeks to ensure that all crypto companies within its jurisdiction comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is placed on the Money Laundering Watch List by the Financial Action Task Force. Shorafa said he believes the committee will help offset all known expected risks, noting:

The committee is convening all relevant stakeholders to build a strong, credible and comprehensive regulatory and business ecosystem addressing key risks and key governance issues such as AML/CFT, investor protection, technology governance and custody risks to facilitate Blockchain and virtual assets.

ADBVAC is responsible for making the country more competitive in the blockchain and virtual asset space, supporting information exchange, and establishing best practices for participants. The UAE has also established the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to introduce cryptocurrency laws along with countries such as the US, UK and Singapore. VARA was established in partnership with the UAE Central Bank and the Securities and Commodities Authority to control services related to digital currencies. These services include licensing and enforcing regulations for companies operating in the virtual asset industry. It is also authorized to oversee:

Develop strategic plans and policies around virtual asset activities, regulate and supervise the issuance and issuance of virtual assets and tokens, and regulate virtual assets.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

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