UAE to Introduce ICO Regulations by End of Q2 2019

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be launching a regulatory framework for ICOs in 2019.


Bitcoin’s price woes don’t seem to be hindering disruptive technology plans for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Arabian Business reports that 2019 will see the country introducing regulations for the ICO industry.

ICOs Deemed Securities

The UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), which has recognized ICOs as securities, will be collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market to actually create trading platforms for ICOs in the coming months.

The CEO of the SCA, Obaid Al Zaabi, explained:

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.

He added that “our market is open. [ICO] registration and licensing is available for all kinds of companies, from across the world”.

While it’s no secret that crypto prices have taken quite the tumble over the last several months, Zaabi still believes that there is a market for the industry:

Bitcoin, Ethereum and others are not our business. We are more concerned about crypto issuance and how to bring them for trade [securities] on our exchanges. There is a demand… we have already received couple of requests for the issuance of the crypto assets and tokens.

However, Zaabi didn’t mince his words when it came to the issue of security. The cryptocurrency industry has been plagued by scams and fraudulent schemes costing victims millions of dollars. He added:

SCA considers security as main priority… we are going to authorise a very selected secured asset class in a way of issuing the ICOs. We are a regulator, we put money in regulations and we have sufficient budget in a way of delivering our responsibility.

UAE to Become an Attractive Crypto Destination

It’s no surprise that platforms in the country are welcoming the move. Hans Fraikin is the CEO of blockchain-based Libra Project in Abu Dhabi. He said that “the UAE is perfectly positioned to be a global leader in the ICO space” and added that “if they succeed as planned, they will be at the forefront of this new burgeoning global securities sector”.

Some experts also believe that the UAE could even give the “blockchain island” of Malta a run for its virtual money when it comes to being disruptive industry leaders. Andrea Bonaceto, the CEO of blockchain-based investment firm, Eterna Capital, added:

Owing to the government’s efforts to keep actively modernising its financial infrastructure, the UAE will become a competitive location to attract ICOs and blockchain related investments in 2019.

Do you think that the UAE will be the next disruptive industry hub? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay.

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