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Abu Dhabi Financial Services regulatory authority updates crypto asset regulations

One of the first amendment is changing the name from crypto asset to virtual asset

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced on February 24th  the enactment of various amendments to the FSRA’s regulations and rules concerning the authorisation and supervision of virtual asset (previously crypto asset) related activities within ADGM. The amendments are part of ADGM’s ongoing commitment to regularly update and improve its regulatory framework based on global developments, in a manner which balances risk based regulations with the needs of market participants.

The key amendements include Changing the terminology of “Crypto Asset” to “Virtual Asset”, to be aligned with the terminology used by the Financial Action Task Force, the inter-governmental body established to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and related threats to the integrity of the international financial system, and Moving the applicable regulations and rules from a bespoke category of “Operating a Crypto Asset Business”, to the respective underlying Regulated Activities (e.g. Providing Custody, Operating a Multilateral Trading Facility, Dealing in Investments, etc.). This is to better reflect the nature of the underlying activities in relation to Virtual Assets.

Kokila Alagh, Founder of Karm Legal and STO Labs MENA explained to UNLOCK the new amendements. As she stated, “FSRA has now amended the existing FSMR regulations to make the amendments to existing crypto assets framework wherein: (1) nomenclature of ‘crypto asset’ has been changed to ‘virtual assets’. (2) each of the activities which were previously a part of the OCAB license have now been included into the existing activities- i.e dealing in investments (where one is undertaking buying selling – as principal or agent), providing custody (where custody services relate to virtual asset) and an MTF (instead of crypto exchange). Since, OCAB has been deleted in entirety, the matters which were exclusions are no longer present. At the outset, it is in line with the international standards and FATF guidance.. further, since the activities which were earlier a part of OCAB are now aligned with the existing regulations of ADGM, we foresee more regulatory clarity on conduct of business, governance and prudential requirements. We welcome this move and look forward to influx of more participants and players in the sector..”

STO Lab MENA recently published a comparative study of the crypto regulations in UAE, Bahrain, Malta and UK 

The full amendments can be found in the links  and

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