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Dubai financial regulator working on regulations for cryptocurrencies

The Dubai Financial Services Authority, the financial regulatory agency for the special economic zone, the Dubai International Financial Center, is looking to enhance local cryptocurrency-related regulations.

According to Cointelegraph, the DFSA is planning to introduce a regulatory framework for diverse digital assets as part of its 2021–2022 business plan released on Jan. 18. 

According to the DFSA, the upcoming crypto framework will further expand the DFSA’s regulation of digital asset issuers and associated trading platforms. The framework will include a number of digital asset types, such as tokenized securities and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC): 

“We will build upon recent achievements in this space over the business planning period through developing a regulatory regime for digital assets (such as tokenized securities and crypto-currencies), having already implemented regulations supporting various innovative business models.”

The DFSA plans to publish two consultation papers seeking feedback on the upcoming rules, according to a report by local news agency The National. 

The DFSA’s head of strategy, policy and risk, Peter Smith stated that the two consultations will be released in the first two quarters of 2021. Smith also noted that “We will look to regulate a wide range of digital assets, including security tokens, utility tokens, the various types of exchange tokens, such as cryptocurrencies and the firms that provide relevant services in these markets.”

The UAE’s first cryptocurrency-related rules emerged more than two years ago. In June 2018, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), of the Abu Dhabi Global Market published guidance on cryptocurrencies, exchanges and initial coin offerings. The FSRA continued to actively engage with the industry, granting several regulatory approvals to companies like the BitOasis cryptocurrency exchange in 2019.

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