The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) announced that it had received licensing requests and inquiries from companies intending to provide Virtual Asset services following the issuance of the necessary regulations, which aim to ensure that all companies that provide products and services related to the Virtual Assets sector in the country are fully regulated, as the SCA’s Board of Directors chaired by His Excellency Muhammad Ali Al-Shorafa seeks to strengthen the country’s position by ensuring that the local financial markets are among the best globally.
Her Excellency Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi, CEO of the SCA, stated that, pursuant to the Cabinet Resolution No. (111) of 2022 regarding the regulation of Virtual Assets and its service providers, which gave the SCA the mandate to issue regulatory decisions for Virtual Asset transactions and license its service providers, the SCA’s Board of Directors issued the necessary decisions, which require all companies providing Virtual Asset services based in the country (except for companies licensed in Financial Free Zones) to obtain a license from the SCA, whereas, all companies operating in the Emirate of Dubai must only obtain a license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which in turn will inform the SCA to have a unified register of all licensed Virtual Asset service providers in the UAE.
Her Excellency further added that the Virtual Assets sector is among the modern technological sectors which has been included as part of the SCA's strategy as one of the pillars for sustainable growth of the UAE’s financial markets.
The SCA has already received license requests and inquiries from companies wishing to provide Virtual Asset services and it has provided them the necessary forms and clarifications, which have also been made available on the SCA’s website or can be obtained through direct communication. Her Excellency confirmed the readiness of the SCA team to provide full support to such companies to obtain the necessary licenses as quickly as possible.
The SCA calls upon all companies that practice any of the Virtual Assets services to submit a request immediately to obtain the necessary approval in order to avoid being subjected to appropriate legal measures which the Authority will initiate during the next stage, when the applicable penalties, as per the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. (111) of 2022 regarding the regulation of Virtual Assets and their service providers, will be applied, which may include one or more of the following: (a warning, a fine not exceeding (10) million Dirhams or referring the violator to the Public Prosecution).
The SCA also calls upon all investors not to deal with any company that provides Virtual Assets services before ensuring that it has the necessary licenses and approvals, in order to protect their investments and not expose them to any risks arising out of dealing with unlicensed companies.
The SCA looks forward to the cooperation of all existing Virtual Asset service providers and their compliance with the regulations and to working together to make the UAE the best destination which provides a regulated environment for Virtual Asset companies to prosper, while offering protection to investors.