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Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority to onboard the Financial sector

Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority to onboard the Financial sector

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TL;DR

  • The virtual asset ecosystem in UAE is not working one hundred percent to where they need to be. The challenge is still the access to banking
  • VARA wants to help those institutions understand the risk, making them more comfortable when dealing with VASPs.
  • Institutional players are an important part of the complete ecosystem, either because they want to tokenize products or bring liquidity to the market.
  • In terms of Bitcoin ETF VARA is interested in how institutional players are dealing with it and not how high or low price goes

In a recent interview with the CEO of Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority, Mathew White, he discusses the need to bring the UAE Banking sector and financial institutions onboard the virtual assets ecosystem. This would include the banking sector and their role in servicing virtual asset service providers as well as institutional players who either want to tokenize products or bring in liquidity.

Mathew White admits that the virtual asset ecosystem in UAE is not working one hundred percent to where it needs to be. The challenge is still the access to banking. He admits that while the UAE Central Bank and local banks have done brilliantly coming to the table enabling to start up banking services for virtual asset service providers, there is an education gap in terms of understanding risks.

He notes that he wants to help those institutions understand the risk, making them more comfortable when dealing with VASPs.  He states, to Zawya, podcast producer, Imogen Lillywhite, “I would like to see progress in those organizations to help them understand the risk. This is a cross collaboration between VARA, the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority, and the UAE central bank.”

He notes that the relationship with the UAE Central Bank and the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority is very good, and he would like to improve it even more. He also wants to strengthen extra territorial collaboration with other regulators because virtual assets are a borderless technology and VASPs seeking offshore operations need this collaboration.

Furthermore, White contends that VARA has a role to play beyond just regulating but in facilitating the growth of the ecosystem by bringing in institutional players. He says, “Institutional players are an important part of the complete ecosystem, either because they want to tokenize products or bring liquidity to the market.”

His comments on the Bitcoin ETF, show interest in Bitcoin ETF but also a see and wait approach. He states, “For me it is not of interest if Bitcoin ETF price is going up or down, but what interests me is how many institutions are getting involved, and how quickly to see if that interest has peaked out or what it looks like.”

In the course of the interview he shares views and future plans on VARA as a regulator and the role it is playing in the UAE virtual asset ecosystem. The importance of VARA is that it allows regulation of virtual assets across a wide spectrum. This is especially important to White given that Dubai alone has 1000 plus Blockchain crypto entities.

For 2024, White sees VARA involved in innovating, especially when it comes to real world assets tokenization. He asserts that instead of VARA sitting in a room and building regulation around tokenization, VARA will be working with industry participants on proven concepts and pilots such as tokenizing a fund, and figure out together what regulations would go around that. He adds, “We want to build something that actually works.”

In the end White believes that VARA is not only present to regulate but to promote Dubai as a hub by increasing awareness, education and supporting investments to Dubai. For White there are many organizations that want to be regulated as this provides certainty for their businesses alongside clarity, and this attracts investors.

 The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Lara Abdul Malak

Lara Abdul Malak is a seasoned tech journalist who got interested in blockchain after interviewing Vitalik Buterin in 2014. She is focused on the blockchain ecosytem in the MENA region. She HODLS Ethereum.

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