UAE Finalizing ICO and Blockchain Regulations: Mid-2019 Target

Journalist:
December 21, 2018
SCA Chief Obaid Al Zaabi

The United Arab Emirates regulatory body has approved ICO tokens as securities and a completed framework will be available in the small middle eastern country in the middle of next year, according to a report in local news outlet TheNational.ae.

Not only has the Securities and Commodities Authority committed to having a full regulatory framework in place by the middle of next year, but they have also announced intentions to work with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Dubai Financial Market to develop localized trading platforms for crypto assets.

SCA Chief Obaid Al Zaabi told the local website:

We have signed agreements with law firms to come up with the sandbox and rule books for the issuance of ICOs. […] Legal requirements will be finished by the end of the first half of 2019… then there will be adoption of technology and development of infrastructure on the side of the exchanges.

Huobi Wielding Influence in Dubai

A number of blockchain and trading companies are taking an interest in Dubai, if attendance at the invitation-only Blockchain Congress in Dubai this week was any indicator. Huobi, for one, has a whole arm of its company dedicated to the entire region – Huobi MENA (Middle East and North Africa) – and their branding was prominent in the promotion and sponsoring of the event.

Huobi MENA’s Mohit Davar said in a press release:

Events like the Blockchain Congress play a crucial role in not only bringing the current players together and facilitating important discussions but also in connecting new entrants to enhance and grow the entire blockchain community.

Dubai is known for its financial modernization by comparison to the region it operates in, and regulations that favor development. The local government actively promotes incentives to attract global business interests. Its construction projects are so large and many that it has a massive migrant work force to cope with demand.

Al Zaabi added that global outfits looking for a safe place to operate blockchain and ICO-backed companies can find a home in Dubai, if they wish, saying:

Our market is open. [ICO] registration and licensing is available for all kinds of companies, from across the world.

In July, the Dubai International Financial Centre announced its intent to launch the world’s first “court of the blockchain.

The focus of regulations in Dubai will not be on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other existing blockchains, but on the launch and nurturing of new security tokens, Al Zaabi explained.

We are more concerned about crypto issuance and how to bring them for trade [securities] on our exchanges.

The move could make Dubai a competitive location, joining countries like Malta, Estonia, and the Isle of Man who have aggressively worked to attract blockchain companies.

Featured image from Shutterstock. Obaid Al Zaabi portrait from LinkedIn.

Last modified (UTC): December 21, 2018 17:59

P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.