UAE readies National Crypto Licensing in push to embrace Fintech

Feb 17, 2022

The United Arab Emirates is poised to issue federal licenses for virtual asset service providers by the end of the first quarter in an effort to attract some of the world’s biggest crypto companies, according to a government official.

The Securities and Commodities Authority is in the final stage of amending legislation to allow VASPs to set up, said the official, who requested anonymity due to government policy.

Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is among those considering a bigger presence in the country.

A nationwide licensing system for virtual-asset firms could help the UAE better compete with rival financial centers like Singapore and Hong Kong, which are also in the midst of creating fully regulated environments for crypto trading.

The UAE official told Bloomberg News that Abu Dhabi considered the latest guidance from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force as well as the strategies employed in the U.S., the U.K. and Singapore.

SCA will handle regulation with input from the central bank, while local financial centers can establish their own day-to-day procedures around licensing.

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