UAE regulator approves trading of crypto assets in free zone

The UAE’s financial regulator has approved a regulatory framework for trading crypto assets in one of Dubai’s free zones.

The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA) have agreed on rules to support the trading, issuance, listing and offering of crypto assets and associated financial activities that fall under the jurisdiction of the DWTCA.
While the SCA will be responsible for regulatory oversight, the DWTCA will issue the relevant approvals and licenses.
“Our agreement with the Securities and Commodities Authority will allow DWTCA to expand its regulatory, licensing and service capabilities, in addition to extending centralized oversight of the crypto market to our free zone,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DWTCA.
“With the rise of new technologies such as non-fungible tokens expected to play an important role in the future of commerce, and building on the Future Blockchain Summit, DWTCA is also looking for ways to provide a sustainable home to this ecosystem, in order to stay ready for the future, ”he added.
The move is yet another sign of growing demand for crypto-related assets and the UAE’s ambition to establish itself as a regional hub for the asset class.
In recent months, Dubai has seen Canadian digital asset manager 3iQ list its Bitcoin fund on Nasdaq Dubai, while digital asset hedge fund Nickel Digital Asset Management has announced plans to launch a Mena subsidiary in Dubai.
There could also be competition between different free zones in Dubai to attract crypto and blockchain related businesses. In May, the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) launched the DMCC Crypto Center, in the wake of the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority which received regulatory approval to trade crypto assets earlier this year.

© 2021 global mena fund

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