As local regulators take steps to promote cryptocurrency use among businesses, the UAE might become a global cryptocurrency hub. Companies based in Dubai World Trade Centre Authority’s free zone can now trade in crypto assets and engage in financial activities related to them, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) announced on Wednesday. In the UAE, at the individual level, trading in cryptos, including Bitcoin and Ether, has been growing exponentially.
However, with the new agreement, this becomes much more visible. The SCA will handle the regulation of the issuance, offering, listing, and trading of crypto assets as well as the licensing of the associated financial activities that fall under DWTCA’s jurisdiction. According to the announcement, the agreement was signed by SCA acting CEO Maryam Al Suwaidi, DWTCA director-general Helal Saeed Al Marri, as well as an executive at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
The DWTCA has committed to enhancing its free zone model and supporting new technologies, such as nonfungible tokens, with the launch of the new project, Al Suwaidi said. “As Dubai continues its drive towards an innovation and digital-led economy, DWTCA is looking to support businesses underpinned by blockchain and cryptographic technologies,” he added.
This agreement further demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to becoming a crypto-friendly global hub. To double the country’s economy in a decade, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, stated that cryptocurrencies and asset tokenization will be essential. The local stock exchange, Nasdaq Dubai, subsequently listed a public Bitcoin (BTC) fund by Canadian digital asset investment fund manager 3iQ in June.
Despite a drop of nearly 50 percent in crypto prices between April and July, over $2 billion was invested in the sector in August. “This emerging sector is growing in breadth and depth during a period of pandemic-driven turbulence and unprecedented economic policy interventions,” said Terry Culver, CEO of Matrix, a crypto trading platform, is registered with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).