Abu Dhabi regulator now has ‘principles’ for crypto


  • The “Guiding Principles” for cryptocurrencies were made public by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).
  • The FSRA is pro-market, but it also promises to abide by global safety standards.
  • The regulator also intends to collaborate closely and informally with market participants “regularly.”

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), which is in charge of regulating and supervising the financial industry in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) free trade area, published its “Guiding Principles” in this regard.

The guiding principles affirm their commitment to upholding international standards in the areas of financial sanctions, combatting the funding of terrorists, and anti-money laundering (AML).

On the ADGM’s official website, five guiding principles were published without a publishing date. These regulations have names like Delivering High Standards of Quality & Service, Cooperation and Shared Responsibility, Risk-focused and Proportionate Approach, Dynamic and Market-Oriented Regulations, and Internationally Recognized Regulatory Framework.

In the bustling city’s shadow of the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, Wall Street bankers, Emirati royalty, and social media influencers mix with bitcoin billionaires.

There is no shortage of dependable labor in the UAE. Although several other countries’ cryptocurrency businesses have already established operations in the Gulf state, traditional lenders’ interest in the industry is growing quickly.

Although the tone and content of the principles generally support statements about fostering innovation, dynamism, and safety in the market, there are a few specifics that would define the ADGM regulatory framework.

The principles provide that the legislative structure of the ADGM shall be based on English Common Law. A regulatory committee established by the board will ensure supervisory independence while allowing the regulator, registrar, and court responsibilities to operate independently within the economic zone.

The regulator also plans to work closely and on a “regular but informal” basis with market participants. Individual meetings between the regulatory and business teams as well as working sessions with industry experts and members of the market will be included in this.

Additionally, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Securities and Commodities Authority Chairman Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa presided over the first meeting of the Abu Dhabi Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee (ADBVAC) in late August.

The committee will concentrate on developing a legal framework for virtual and blockchain assets that complies with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations and aids in the development of “an ecosystem that is safe, sound, and transparent,” according to a statement.