Thani Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), recently announced that cryptocurrency would significantly influence global trade within his country’s borders in years to come.
At the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he spoke with Bloomberg about this statement and revealed details about the UAE’s trade deals and policies for the upcoming year.
The minister highlighted the necessity of establishing global governance over cryptocurrencies and related firms. In addition, he proclaimed that as the United Arab Emirates develops its regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, it will strive to become an international hub for cryptocurrency-friendly policies with appropriate safeguards in place.
He expressed his sentiment: “We have already begun drawing some companies into our country so that we can build together a suitable legal framework and governing system.”
Recently, the UAE Cabinet has implemented stringent regulations on entities engaged in cryptocurrency activities. However, those who fail to acquire a license from Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) or obtain approval will face severe consequences, including fines of up to $2.7 million. The minister’s statement reflects this action and further solidifies the authorities’ position regarding their intentions for these structures within the country.
The Global Market Free Economic Zone’s financial regulator released the “Guiding Principles” for digital asset regulation and supervision in September of last year, which formed the foundation for this current law. Also, this novel approach is supportive of cryptocurrencies while also adhering to international standards when it comes to anti-money laundering (AML), countering the financing of terrorism (CFT), and supporting financial sanctions.
Despite the recent FTX incident, Omar Sultan Al Olama—the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy—illustrated his enthusiasm towards crypto companies setting up in the Emirates during a panel at the World Economic Forum. He believes that these entities will be beneficial to making the country an international hub for cryptocurrency-related activities.
The minister ardently denied that critical cities in the UAE, like Dubai, are havens for individuals implicated in crypto scandals. He went on to state that “bad actors” have no nation or destination they may flee to and urged governments to join forces so these perpetrators cannot escape overseas.