UAE Opens Doors to Crypto Firms with New Licensing Rules and Digital Asset Oasis
Crypto companies seeking to operate in the United Arab Emirates can now apply for licenses from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), subject to new regulations approved by the SCA's board of directors.
To comply with the new licensing rules, firms must adhere to codes of business conduct that include integrity, transparency, protecting consumer assets, and limiting the trading of certain products to specific customers.
Minimum capital requirements apply, and the SCA can request additional documents from firms while complying with the Financial Action Task Force’s anti-money laundering guidelines.
The SCA’s licensing requirements apply to all emirates except economic free zones and Dubai. Crypto firms in Dubai must register with the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which recently tightened its licensing requirements.
Binance, the world’s largest exchange, delayed plans to offer trading in Dubai through its Binance FZE entity, while other firms, such as Komainu, Hex Trust, and Crypto.com, have received licenses.
The Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis, which will open in Q2 2023, is a free zone dedicated to digital assets and is linked to the recently established Department of the Future.
The SCA will work with the central bank to enforce the new regulations that came into effect on January 15, 2023.