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UAE to Regulate Virtual Assets to Control Financial Crimes

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) of the UAE announced that it is getting closer to adopting regulations on virtual asset investments. A survey on the sector's money laundering and terrorist financing risks was also assessed by the SCA.

As regional economic competition intensifies, the UAE has been advocating for the development of virtual asset regulation in order to attract new types of industry. The UAE has also strengthened laws in recent years to combat its reputation as a haven for illicit money.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) added the UAE to a list of jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring, dubbed the "Grey List," last Friday. Following which, the SCA announced the framework on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing risk.

According to the SCA, it has finished consultations with UAE authorities to make sure that the virtual assets industry complies with FATF principles and criteria.

“The Securities and Commodities Authority is the sole authority in the UAE mainland - except the financial free zones, ADGM and DIFC for  licensing, supervising and overseeing the virtual assets activities and services  issued for investment purposes (not virtual assets issued for payment purposes) as well as monitoring the compliance of the licensees by the Authority with the recommendations and requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and in accordance with Federal Decree No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations and its amendments and implementing regulations”, the SCA statement said.

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