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Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Issues Crypto Regulatory Guidelines

The tide that is crypto-regulation has reached the United Arab Emirates with its Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) issuing crypto regulatory guidelines on the 25th of June this year. In the press release on its official website, ADGM has provided the framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities. These include those undertaken by exchanges, custodians and other intermediaries in ADGM. The current regulatory framework is as a result of public consultations by ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) on May 28th this year.

The framework will address the risks involved with crypto asset activities such as money laundering, financial crime, consumer protection, technology governance, custody and exchange services. ADGM plans to foster the economic diversification of Adu Dhabi through innovation and sustainable incentives.

Mr Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer, FSRA of ADGM, is quoted as saying the following to explain the body’s decision to offer a framework for crypto activities:

We are encouraged by the significant global and regional interest from exchanges, custodians, intermediaries and other institutions to our crypto spot regulatory framework. Globally, responsible crypto asset players are seeking a regulatory regime upholding high standards that foster market confidence.

He would also add that:

By introducing a comprehensive and best-in-class regulatory framework, the FSRA is taking a leading role in instilling proper governance, oversight and transparency over crypto asset activities, positioning ADGM as a destination of choice for crypto asset players. Our engagement with fellow global regulators also validated our position that the key risks highlighted have to be addressed for crypto assets to be more widely accepted and institutionalized.

The actions my the ADGM follows those of authorities in the countries of Malta, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand, who have offered regulatory guidelines in each of the countries.

In conclusion, it seems the regulatory tide is gathering some much needed momentum across the globe. As soon as the major countries of the USA, UK, Australia and Russia give more direction with regards to regulating crypto assets and activities, then the much awaited institutional investors will indeed show their interest in the crypto markets. They will bring in the said trillions of dollars in investment capital.

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