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Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies: regulatory framework in the UAE

The terms “Blockchain” or “Bitcoin” were alien to the general public in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when Satoshi Nakamoto began the Bitcoin phenomenon in 2008. However, today with one of the world’s first cryptocurrency deep “cold storage” companies operating in Dubai, it is clear that tides have shifted.

In a bid to become a pioneer in blockchain technology, the UAE has launched the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021 pursuant to which, 50% of government transactions will be conducted using blockchain technology by 2021. To solidify it vision, regulations on the use of crypto assets, including cryptocurrencies have recently been issued.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) which is the financial regulator of the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (a free zone in Abu Dhabi) (ADGM), has become the first regulator in the UAE to issue comprehensive guidance and regulations on carrying out activities relating to cryptocurrencies.

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