Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, announced that its financial regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), has published Guiding Principles on its approach to virtual asset regulation and supervision as a way to outline its expectations for the asset class and service providers in the sector.

The principles state the FSRA’s risk appetite and priorities for the sector, with each principle covering one of the key pillars of ADGM’s holistic approach, which includes a robust and transparent regulatory framework; high standards of authorization; preventing money laundering and other financial crimes; risk-sensitive supervision; enforcement powers for regulatory breaches; and its commitment to international cooperation. They will therefore be of particular relevance to potential applicants to ADGM and other regulators with an interest in this area.

As per the document, The FSRA’s risk appetite for VA activities is such that it will only admit operators to its jurisdiction who at the outset can unequivocally meet the transparent, high standards outlined in its framework. This will maintain the best-in-class reputation of the ADGM ecosystem and instil market confidence to promote growth and investment. 

In addition the document discusses stablecoins, ADGM will only permit those tokens where price stability is maintained by the issuer holding the same fiat currency it purports to be tokenising on a fully backed 1:1 basis. This therefore currently prevents the use within ADGM of other types of stablecoins, such as algorithmic stablecoins.

Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO of the FSRA, said, “These guiding principles will provide greater clarity to investors, other regulators, industry and the wider public of our approach to regulation in this area and key expectations we have set on current virtual asset service providers in ADGM and potential applicants. They also outline the tools we have at our disposal to mitigate the material risks that are born from these activities and the regulatory powers to identify and act upon any misconduct. Consistent with the FSRA’s broader strategy to align with international best practices, these principles make clear the high standards of our framework at a time of increased volatility and regulatory focus.”


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