The Abu Dhabi financial free zone hub, ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) and its regulatory body the FSRA (Financial Services regulatory Authority) have published their business plan for 2024 which outlines introducing DeFi regulations as well as amendments to its virtual assets regulatory framework.

ADGM which announced its virtual assets framework back in 2018 has since then been growing its framework most recently announcing its DLT Foundation regulations that would allow the issuance of governance tokens.

But more interestingly in its newly published business plan for 2024, the ADGM FSRA states, they are developing a framework for DeFi activities in 2024. ADGM business plan states, “The current focus for the FSRA has been on admitting decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions to the RegLab so that it can learn from the experiences of these companies and thereby take steps to develop a suitable regulatory framework for DeFi activities.”

Together, the RegLab and Digital Lab showcase how effective government led initiatives can advance the local ecosystem and be drivers of a business friendly environment.

ADGM and FSRA will also work to utilize AI (Artificial Intelligence)  and has engaged with several projects that leverage this technology, as well as to provide more interactive and chatstyle ‘Regulation as a Service.

In terms of its virtual assets framework while the FSRA has continued to refine and enhance its VA framework and in September 2022 published an update of the ‘Guiding Principles for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority’s Approach to Virtual Asset Regulation and Supervision’ on its approach to VA regulation and supervision, in 2024 the FSRA will review its regulatory framework for VAs to assess whether any enhancements are necessary. As stated in business plan,” This goes back to the FSRA’s experience gained from supervising VA businesses and the emergence of new VA regulatory frameworks introduced in relevant peer jurisdictions.”

Finally the FSRA is working with FinTech business models that can promote greater liquidity and financial inclusion in private capital markets using as well FSRA’s regulations that support the adoption of digital assets and tokenized securities which have enabled greater accessibility and transferability of private capital market investments.

So In 2024 the UAE and in particular Abu Dhabi will witness advancements in the virtual assets regulatory landscape, as well as introduction of DeFi regulations and more utilization of security tokens and digital assets for investments.

Those who have been following ADGM know that already Binance has gained a license, as has Bahrain headquartered RAIN exchange, and most recently IOTA announced it was launching its DLT Foundation from ADGM Abu Dhabi.

This article was first published in Cryptopolitan