July 31, 2023

UAE’s Regulatory Framework

by Soham Panchamiya and Pankhuri Malhotra

in Articles

The UAE has been making significant strides in establishing a robust regulatory framework for the virtual asset sector. One of the key regulatory bodies in the UAE is the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which plays a vital role in overseeing and shaping the future of crypto regulation in the country.

VARA has developed multiple rulebooks, some of which are mandatory and applicable to all Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), while others are specialised and applicable to specific entities such as exchanges, lender-borrowers, brokerages, advisers, investment managers, payment services providers, and custodians. These rulebooks ensure that the virtual asset industry operates within a regulated environment, fostering trust and investor protection.

Encouragingly, several high-profile crypto companies have recognised the UAE’s commitment to regulation and have applied for Full Market Product (FMP) licenses from VARA. These companies are currently in the process of obtaining these licenses, indicating their confidence in the UAE as a favourable jurisdiction for conducting virtual asset-related activities.

We are optimistic that these FMP licenses will begin to be released in the coming months, with a projected timeline of Q3-Q4 2023. This demonstrates the UAE’s proactive approach to creating a regulated framework for the virtual asset sector. In comparison to other renowned jurisdictions like Singapore, Europe, the US, and Hong Kong, the UAE has positioned itself as a pioneer by actively creating frameworks for virtual assets, where no other jurisdiction has been as proactive thus far.

This regulatory commitment from the UAE is a testament to its faith in the VirtualAsset sector and the future of cryptocurrencies. By providing a clear regulatory landscape, the UAE aims to attract more companies and investments to the region, boosting economic growth and establishing itself as a leading global hub for the virtual asset industry.

With the upcoming Bitcoin halving and positive market indicators suggesting the end of the bear market, this is an opportune time for the UAE to claim its place as the capital of the virtual asset world. The UAE’s proactive approach, combined with its strong regulatory framework and growing interest from crypto companies, positions it as a favorable and promising destination for individuals and businesses operating in the virtual asset space.

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