Dubai World Trade Centre to become specialised crypto zone
The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) will become a comprehensive zone and regulator for virtual assets and cryptocurrencies, including digital assets, products, operators and exchanges, as the adoption of such investments picks up pace in the emirate. This move is in line with the government's efforts to create new economic sectors and promote financial inclusion.
"This step continues to accelerate Dubai’s standing as a leading global centre for business, trade and technology. The World Trade Centre will deliver and oversee a new world-class regulatory framework of virtual asset legislative and enforcement policies," authorities have said. It "will be critical to facilitating and broadening cross-border operations and ecosystem innovation to enable safe market adoption and growth for this sector in Dubai."
The DWTC announcement is in line with the UAE's initiatives to help banks and other financial institutions adopt new-age technologies within the sector and manage any risks arising from their introduction.
The world of cryptocurrency: Developments within the UAE
Investor appetite for digital tokens and cryptocurrencies has been surging in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as users are looking to invest their finances. At least half of the institutional investors in the UAE surveyed by London-based Nickel Digital Asset Management in 2022 said they plan to dramatically increase their exposure to cryptocurrency assets between now and 2023.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai issued the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law to establish a legal framework in order to protect investors and implement the relevant international standards for governing virtual assets in the country. This law is applicable to the Emirate of Dubai, with the exception of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The DIFC has its own regulatory framework for virtual assets under the jurisdiction of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
Moreover, the Government of Dubai has established the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to help safeguard investments made into virtual assets including crypto assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Recently, the VARA became the first regulatory authority in the world to enter into the metaverse with the establishment of their MetaHQ. Read more about this achievement in our article here.
These steps continue to accelerate Dubai’s standing as a leading global centre for business, trade and technology.
The DWTC is aiming to further develop Dubai’s virtual assets and markets by expanding its framework for innovative financial products and adopting new trends built on advanced underlying blockchain technology, such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.
The world of cryptocurrency: Global developments
The global cryptocurrency market continues to maintain its strength, with its market capitalisation currently at more than $2 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
The international market for NFTs—a type of crypto asset that uses blockchain to record the ownership status of digital objects, with only their buyers having the certified status of being owners—hit $22 billion last week. This was facilitated by the rise in collector demands.
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