Dubai Establishes Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority to Develop Crypto Sector


Earlier today, the leader of Dubai signed the “virtual assets law”, creating an independent authority for oversight of the cryptocurrency sector. The law is said to establish the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s regulatory position in the industry.

  • According to his announcement, the authority will “organize the issuance and trading” of virtual assets and virtual tokens, while independently authorizing “virtual asset service providers”.
  • It will also organize the “operation” of virtual asset platforms and portfolios while monitoring transactions and preventing price manipulation.
  • Dubai previously moved to regulate crypto in December, when Binance teamed up with the Dubai World Trade Centre to make it a comprehensive crypto zone for speeding up industry adoption.
  • Crypto has already seen some noteworthy activity in the region. NFT activity in Dubai is currently double the global average, and the city is home to a host of NFT related projects.
  • Dubai is also home to a Dogecoin-themed Burger Joint as of last month, where people can pay for food with crypto.
  • “The future belongs to whoever designs it,” said UAE Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “Our step is a leap towards the future aimed at developing this sector and protecting all investors in it.”
  • Entities subject to the virtual asset law include “operating and managing” virtual asset platforms, crypto to crypto exchanges, crypto to fiat exchanges,  and crypto payment providers. These are typically the targets of regulation in the ‘decentralized’ world, as seen with regulation surrounding the Russia/ Ukraine conflict.
  • Both the UAE and the US are primed for clearer regulatory standards in the crypto industry after President Biden signed the crypto executive order today.
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