Abu Dhabi thought paper on crypto and blockchain

On November 6, the Emirati government news agency WAM issued a statement saying that the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has published a thought paper on cryptocurrency and the blockchain with regard to issuing digital assets.

According to the report in Cointelegraph, The document was reportedly issued in collaboration with the Central Securities Depositories and under the auspices of the International Securities Service Association, ISSA. The aim of the paper is to “identify the necessary technical and operational criteria for issuing digital assets and supporting financial institutions in offering crypto assets.”

ADX CEO Rashed Al Blooshi, said the exchange “continues its efforts to manage the transition from conventional assets to more encrypted assets, which are witnessing major and rapid development in the region.” He also emphasised the “importance of market infrastructure improvement and the development of governance standards in order to increase investor confidence and keep the market from fragmenting.”

ADX, which is also a member of ISSA Central Securities Depositories Working Group plans to do more work on developing and implementing blockchain projects.

This announcement comes on the back of October’s announcement from the United Arab Emirates national securities regulator which said it plans to introduce ICOs in capital markets next year. The agency has been drafting regulations for ICOs with input from international advisers, and is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets to develop ICO trading platforms since “the board of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority has approved considering ICOs as securities.”

And in September, Richard Teng, head of UAE’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority said it wants “proper” international regulation of cryptocurrency as loss and theft of cryptocurrency negatively impacts its image as an asset. Teng said “This space needs to be properly regulated, otherwise there is the risk of financial crime.”