Dubai unveils new crypto laws, establishes independent regulator

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, has approved the enactment of new cryptocurrency laws in the country.
“Today, through the virtual assets law, we seek to participate in the design of this new and rapidly growing global sector,” the Dubai ruler noted in a Tweet Wednesday. “Our step is a leap towards the future aimed at developing this sector and protecting all investors in it.”
In addition, Dubai will also see the establishment of a cryptocurrency regulator, named Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), designed to issue licenses and oversee the compliance system of crypto service providers operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The new regulatory authority is established as an affiliated organization of the Dubai World Trade Center.

Today, we approved the virtual assets law and established the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority. A step that establishes the UAE’s position in this sector. The Authority will cooperate with all related entities to ensure maximum transparency and security for investors.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) March 9, 2022

Apart from authorizing crypto service providers, VARA is responsible for “organizing and issuing trading of virtual assets and virtual tokens,” “monitoring transactions and prevent VA price manipulation,” and more. VARA’s license and regulatory oversight encompass businesses providing cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto custodial and management services, and crypto transfer services, amongst others.
The Dubai World Trade Center announced in December last year it will roll out a comprehensive crypto zone and regulatory authority to supervise the sector. The city has been open to accepting the burgeoning industry, allowing for crypto trading in the Dubai Free Zone since September 2021.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA) last December in a bid to support Dubai’s plans to build a new global crypto ecosystem.

Regulatory clarity is so important. This new virtual asset law in Dubai is a great step forward.
— CZ License.

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