Dubai Approves Law on Virtual Assets, Establishes Regulatory Authority for Oversight

Dubai has also established an independent body to oversee the governance of the crypto space called VARA.

Dubai Approves Law on Virtual Assets, Establishes Regulatory Authority for Oversight

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The crypto laws are Dubai’s attempt to create “much-warranted international standards”

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum signed the order
  • Dubai citizens interested in crypto must register with VARA
  • VARA will play role in deciding punishments for offenders

The crypto sector in Dubai will now fall under a set of new regulatory framework. UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has signed a new law for virtual assets while also establishing an independent body to oversee the governance of the crypto space. Called VARA, Dubai's Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority will classify the types of virtual assets and set controls to monitor the digital assets sector. VARA will also play a role in punishing the violators of the new laws with its authority of imposing fines and suspending businesses.

The law now requires Dubai citizens to register with VARA first before engaging in crypto-related activities.

Businesses dealing with virtual assets like crypto exchanges and transfers will also have to identify themselves before VARA.

Approving laws around the crypto sector in Dubai is intended to create a “much-warranted international standards” to shape up the up-and-coming industry, an official statement said.

The rules will also ensure the safety and transparency of business for crypto investors.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao praised Dubai's initiative on Twiiter.

In recent times, UAE'S Abu Dhabi and Dubai have emerged as developing crypto hubs.

In December last year, a specialised zone for virtual assets was set-up in the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) to attract new business as regional economic competition began to heat up.

Strict punishments for crypto scammers targeting investors in the country have also been announced by the authorities in the UAE.

Violators will be liable to pay a penalty of up to AED 1 million (roughly Rs. 2 crore) along with spending some jail time.

Meanwhile, Dubai's crypto rules came into enforcement the same day US President Joe Biden signed executive orders on the government oversight of the cryptocurrency industry.

The order directs the US Federal Reserve to explore whether the central bank should jump in and create its own digital currency.

The US Treasury Department and other federal agencies have also been instructed to study the impact of cryptocurrency on financial stability and national security.

With regulatory laws around crypto cropping up in several parts of the world, the decentralised industry is roping in international validations.

Earlier this year, India also announced plans of bringing in an RBI-regulated 'Digital Rupee' while also levying a 30 percent tax on income generated from the transfer of virtual digital assets.

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Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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Further reading: Dubai, Cryptocurrency, Crypto Law
Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at More
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