Abu Dhabi Launches Regulatory Framework and Guidance to Govern Crypto Assets and Activities

Richard Teng Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM
Richard Teng Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM

Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), the international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, today unveiled its framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities, including the activities undertaken by exchanges, custodians, and other intermediaries in ADGM. The framework follows the successful completion of public consultation on the introduction of a robust crypto asset regulatory framework by Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) that ended on 28th May 2018.

The regulatory framework addresses the full range of risks associated with crypto asset activities, which includes risks relating to money laundering and financial crime, consumer protection, technology governance, custody and exchange operations. The overall public consultation round had been very positive with local and global respondents contributing to the proposed regulatory framework and factoring in constructive comments and several refinements have been made to the regulatory framework. The visible change being the implementation of the Daily Value Trading Levy imposed on the Crypto asset Exchanges on a sliding scale basis.

The launch of new regulatory framework shows the ADGM’s effort and commitment to pave a new way towards the economic diversification of Abu Dhabi through innovation and sustainable initiatives. 

Mr Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer, FSRA of ADGM, said:

“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. 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 FSRA also published its “Guidance- Regulation of Crypto Activities in ADGM” and application form for those entities who are interested to operate crypto related activities within ADGM. The proposed regulatory framework and guidance elaborates ADGM stance towards the crypto asset activities and can be a useful resource for interested applicants.