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Dubai passes first crypto law; sets up watchdog for virtual assets

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Dubai passes first crypto law; sets up watchdog for virtual assets

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Dubai's moves essentially give a legal mandate for trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the emirate, even as China continues with its ban and India weighs its crypto options.

Dubai passes first crypto law; sets up watchdog for virtual assets

The Emirate of Dubai has adopted its first crypto law and formed a regulatory body for virtual assets. This, as the emirate tries to position itself as a world leader in terms of emerging technologies like cryptocurrency and blockchain. The emirate within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has set up the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, which will be working with all related entities to promote security and transparency for crypto investors.

The announcement was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai as well as the Vice President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the United Arab Emirates.

“The goal

Role of regulatory body VARA

The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority or VARA will be tasked with regulating the sale of virtual assets and virtual tokens while also being responsible for regulation and authorising virtual asset service providers.

In addition to these responsibilities, the VARA will also be ensuring that the data of investors remains secure and safe in the hands of virtual asset service providers. The organisation will also be linked to the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA).

Crypto law

The law is expected to go into effect across the emirate with the exception of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which is a special economic zone under the ambit of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

The DFSA has stated that it will be adopting its own rules for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the near future for the DIFC. Similarly, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), the securities regulator in the UAE, has also stated that it is working on its own regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies that it is getting close to launching.

With the law in force, it essentially creates a legal mandate for selling and trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in Dubai, against the backdrop of many countries like China taking an opposite stance.

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