Dubai Introduces Virtual Asset Regs, Establishes Regulator

UAE, cryptocurrency

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said the country has adopted its first law governing digital assets and established an agency to regulate the sector, Reuters reported Wednesday (March 9).

Mohammed, who also serves as the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, the federation of seven emirates, has advocated for the development of virtual asset regulations. It’s mission, the UAE has said, is to attract business as the region’s economic competition increases.

The new measure, the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law, is intended to position the UAE and Dubai, the region’s business center, as a regional and global destination for the sector, Mohammed said in a statement.

A new agency, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, was created to supervise the development of a business environment for virtual assets in terms of regulation, licensing, and governance, he added.

Last fall, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the financial regulatory agency of the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Centre, unveiled its initial rules for digital tokens. This week, the DFSA launched a consultation on regulation for crypto tokens, which includes crypto currencies.

This week, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to establish a government-wide policy on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. In the announcement, the White House said 16% of the population, or 40 million Americans, use or have used cryptocurrencies.

Read more: Biden’s Executive Order Set to Fast-Track Crypto Policy

The executive order will have six areas of focus, including consumer and investor protection; protecting financial stability; preventing illicit finance; advancing U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; promoting financial inclusion; and encouraging responsible innovation.