Nucleus AI (, offering advanced artificial intelligence solutions, has partnered with the Dubai Blockchain Center ( to revolutionize how blockchain and crypto companies establish operations in Dubai by streamlining the regulatory processes.

“We are at the cusp of a transformative era where blockchain and artificial intelligence converge to create unprecedented opportunities,” said Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center. “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in harnessing the synergies of these revolutionary technologies to foster an ecosystem that empowers businesses and drives innovation within Area 2071, Dubai, the UAE and beyond.”

At the core of this initiative lies Nucleus AI’s advanced AI platform, which enables enterprises, SMEs, and government entities to transform their existing knowledge bases into intelligent systems capable of understanding and acting upon complex data relationships.

“Our platform allows enterprises to deploy sophisticated AI-driven processes that operate across multiple tiers, drastically improving efficiency and effectiveness,” stated Raakin Iqbal, CEO and Co-founder of Nucleus AI. “We’re fundamentally enhancing how organizations manage and utilize their knowledge assets.”

“Our Pre-AGI technology doesn’t just automate – it innovates, making each regulatory interaction smarter and more effective,” Iqbal explained. “We’re pushing the boundaries of what AI can achieve in streamlining operational landscapes.”

The partnership will enable an AI-driven proof-of-concept that guides blockchain and crypto companies through the entire regulatory journey – from initial inquiry to final licensing – with unprecedented efficiency. Key capabilities include:

– Intelligent Reasoning: Applying complex logic to understand nuanced regulations and processes.

– Dynamic Knowledge Bases: Continuously updated to ensure adherence to the latest policies.

– Autonomous Action Models: Leveraging datasets and reasoning to autonomously navigate processes while ensuring compliance.

– Multilingual Support: Facilitating global adoption with AI-powered support across 25+ languages.

At the core of this initiative is an AI-powered interface that combines conversational AI with action-driven modeling to shepherd companies through every step, from initial inquiry to final licensing. “Nucleus AI’s platform ingests complex knowledge bases and autonomously executes actions based on logical inferencing – making it ideal for streamlining this intricate regulatory journey,” stated Kiran Ali, Co-founder.

“Our partnership with the Dubai Blockchain Center showcases how advanced AI can revolutionize regulatory frameworks through reasoning and autonomous execution,” Iqbal said. “We’re developing systems that deeply understand operational nuances to radically simplify business establishment.”

The Dubai Blockchain Center’s visionary leadership echoes this innovative spirit: “In our pursuit to position Dubai as a beacon for the blockchain sector, we aim to create an environment conducive to growth,” Dr. Alzarouni stated. “Our initiatives make it seamless for blockchain and crypto companies to operate here, fostering an ecosystem where innovation thrives.”

Binance FZE, the Dubai entity of the biggest global virtual assets services provider and crypto exchange, has received the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This license, subsequent to the previous issuance of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) License in July 2023, marks a significant milestone for Binance.

Binance CEO Richard Teng stated, “As we secure the esteemed full market VASP License, it notably amplifies our unwavering commitment to advancing the financial landscape through compliance and innovation. This achievement embodies our dedication to transparency, regulatory compliance, and responsible growth in the dynamic digital assets domain.

Furthermore, it bears testimony to the innovative spirit of the UAE, as it continues to embrace the transformative economic implications of blockchain technology for its residents.”

The transition from an MVP License to a VASP License allows Binance FZE to extend its product offering and expand its services to the retail market, in addition to qualified and institutional investors. Binance FZE can now offer individual customers a broad portfolio of virtual asset products that includes spot trading, margin trading (for qualified users), and staking products.

Binance FZE General Manager Alex Chehade said, “This is a major milestone that validates our commitment to providing secure, compliant, and top-tier services to our users. It underlines Dubai’s position as a forward-thinking city – acknowledging and embracing the
financial potential that blockchain technology brings.”

Upon initiating operations under the new VASP License, Binance FZE will significantly enhance its current services beyond spot trading and fiat services. This license allows diversifying trading services exclusively for qualified and institutional investors only, where these segments are eligible to engage in margin and derivatives products, including futures and options. Presently, these services are strictly restricted to those that meet the qualified investor criteria.

Binance already has a license in Bahrain. Its license in UAE, follows the licensing of several other crypto exchanges including international players such as OKX, and The competition just got fiercer in the UAE.

This announcement also comes as Binance sets to return to India.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, enacts the world’s first Digital Assets Law, a new Law of Security and related amendments to select existing legislation to cater for the consequences of the new digital assets regime and revised security regime. The legislative enactments aim to ensure DIFC Laws keep pace with the rapid developments in international trade and financial markets arising from technological developments, and to provide legal certainty for investors in, and users of, Digital Assets.

Digital Assets Law – DIFC Law No. 2 of 2024

Digital Assets represent a trillion-dollar asset class and the scope for future innovation and market opportunities within it are considerable. Thus far, the primary focus in many jurisdictions has been to regulate and impose enforcement related sanctions on some of the practical applications of this asset class from a regulated financial services perspective. However, the fundamental benefits brought about by blockchain technology, the digital assets that can be created thereby, and their application across a wide spectrum of use cases will grow and become of increasing importance in a much wider context. In this regard, the broader legal questions as to the exact nature of the legal features and consequences of digital assets has very much remained open for debate on a number of key issues. International legal developments and judgments across the common law world have begun to provide some clarity in this regard but have not yet provided a comprehensive legal framework mapping out the full extent of the legal characteristics of a digital asset and how users and investors within this asset class may interact with digital assets and each other.  

Following extensive review of the legal approaches taken to digital assets in multiple jurisdictions, and a period of public consultation in 2023, DIFC is now enacting its own Digital Assets Law. 

Existing DIFC laws such as the Contracts Law, Law of Obligations, Law of Security, Law of Damages and Remedies, Trust Law and Foundations Law have also been updated through DIFC Amendment Law, No. 3 of 2024, to cater to specific issues arising in relation to this asset class. 

Updates to the Law of Obligations also provide for the use of electronic transferable records. Electronic transferable records are functionally equivalent to paper trade documents or instruments such as bills of lading, bills of exchange, promissory notes and warehouse receipts. Recognition of such documents in electronic form facilitates greater efficiencies within cross-border digital trade by increasing the speed and security of transmission of documentation and allowing for the automation of certain transactions through smart contracts.

Similarly, a great deal of innovation has taken place in secured transactions regimes internationally – particularly since the DIFC Law of Security was enacted in 2005. This includes the emergence of businesses and platforms that enable the extension of credit in, and secured or covered by, digital asset collateral arrangements, and an increasing drive to digitise international trade.  

Following consideration of regimes in other jurisdictions and, in particular, UNCITRAL’s Model Law on Secured Transaction, in conjunction with the new Digital Assets Law, DIFC is repealing the 2005 Law of Security, and replacing it with a new Law of Security to significantly amend and enhance DIFC’s securities regime. This will align the regime with international best practice and provide clarity in relation to taking security over digital assets.  In doing so, DIFC is also repealing the Financial Collateral Regulations, amalgamating the financial collateral provisions into a new chapter of the new Law of Security. 

Jacques Visser, Chief Legal Officer at DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC is excited to announce the enactment of its Digital Assets Law. We consider this legislation to be groundbreaking as the first legislative enactment to comprehensively set out the legal characteristics of digital assets as a matter of property law, and to provide for how digital assets may be controlled, transferred and dealt with by interested parties. At the same time, we are also enacting a new Law of Security, replacing the 2005 law. The revised regime is modelled on the UNCITRAL Model of Secured Transactions and significantly enhances DIFC’s securities regime to keep pace with international developments in this field and to ensure DIFC remains at the forefront of best practice.”

The new legislation came into effect on 8 March 2024 and can be accessed via DIFC’s Legislative Database: here.
The new laws reflect the Centre’s commitment to maintaining a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice.

UAE private wealth optimization platform and ACX compliance, a crypto and Web3 compliance advisory firm, have published a guidebook ” Navigating ADGM’s DLT Foundations”. This initiative is designed to equip businesses with the knowledge and strategies necessary to navigate the intricacies of the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) ecosystem.

In November 2023, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) introduced the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Foundations Regulations 2023, marking the world’s first legal framework for blockchain within its jurisdiction. They have been actively broadening its regulatory framework relating to digital assets and DLT, with the objective of establishing a comprehensive legal and regulatory structure for such businesses.

The ADGM DLT foundations regime offers a supportive ecosystem for blockchain-based businesses, prioritizing investor protection and market integrity. Specifically tailored guidelines provide clarity and certainty for businesses in the blockchain and DLT sector, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and investor confidence. Key benefits include regulated token issuance, programmable governance, and legal protection for decentralized protocols, bridging the gap between on-chain and off-chain realms.

Entities interested in registering a DLT foundation with the ADGM Registration Authority (ADGM RA) must meet stringent application criteria outlined in the Regulations. Eligible applicants include a diverse array of entities such as blockchain foundations, web3 entities, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and traditional foundations seeking to harness the potential of DLT for enhanced operations.

According to the guidebook, DLT foundations are bound by numerous ongoing and annual compliance obligations to ensure their operations align with legal standards. These ongoing obligations necessitate DLT foundations to maintain a registered office within the ADGM, serving as a central point for all communications and notices.
Additionally, foundations are required to appoint a Company Service Provider1 responsible for several critical functions. This provider must keep all corporate records as mandated by applicable laws, ensure the foundation has a registered office within the ADGM, act as the foundation’s representative in all interactions with the ADGM RA, including the service of documents, and manage all required notifications and filings with the ADGM RA in accordance with relevant laws.

Hermione Harrison, Director, and Head of Corporate Governance M/HQ commented: “The introduction of the ADGM DLT Foundations Regulations in 2023 signifies a significant breakthrough for the UAE’s cryptocurrency industry, positioning DLT foundations as leaders in innovation and progress within both the ADGM and beyond. These Regulations establish an unprecedented level of regulatory clarity, opening doors to a future marked by heightened transparency and efficiency across the blockchain and Web3 sectors.”

So far two DLT Foundations have been registered in ADGM, IoTa and Finischia.

According to a recent Bloomberg article published October 2nd 2023, Abu Dhabi UAE will witness the launch of a stablecoin. Former Softbank vice president, Akshay Naheta has launched his company called Distributed Technologies Research (DTR) in Abu Dhabi which will focus on developing several products one of which is a stablecoin.

Naheta on LinkedIn posted,” I’m happy to announce my new company Distributed Technologies Research! We’ve been operating in stealth for the past 10 months. And, I’m looking forward to sharing our product releases over the near-term.”

According to Bloomberg, The 42-year-old financier has set up DTR and will partner on the project with Hong Kong-based DRAM Trust, which has ties to several high-net-worth individuals. They’re looking to capitalize on a stablecoin market that analysts at Bernstein estimate will grow more than 20-fold to $2.8 trillion in five years.

DRAM coins will be available on decentralized exchanges including Uniswap, Sushiswap and Pancakeswap, and the team plans to work with centralized exchanges in the near future, according to Naheta.

Akshay Naheta was a former trader at Deutsche Bank. He was central to some of SoftBank’s biggest deals during his tenure. He pitched founder Masayoshi Son on the sale of chip designer Arm to semiconductor designer Nvidia Corp. He also led a $4 billion investment in Nvidia in 2017, earning $3 billion in profit.

In a press release he states, “The launch of DTR’s business in the ADGM and the licensing of its first product to the DRAM Trust is an initial step towards our wider ambitions. Our technologies provide the efficacy, usability, governance, security, transparency and stability sought by the cryptocurrency markets, while leveraging cutting edge technology protocols. The DRAM Trust brings much-needed credibility to the global stablecoin sector.” 

Global law firm Decherts LLP acted as a legal advisor to DTR and the DRAM Trust for structural and regulatory matters. 
The DRAM Smart Contract has been audited by Consensys and PeckShield, with real-time reserve audits to be published by The Network Firm through their LedgerLens product.
As part of its product expansion plans, DTR expects to launch a decentralized wallet solution in early 2024, to enable the wide accessibility and utility for digital tokens.  

According to Bloomberg Intelligence crypto market analyst Jamie Coutts, stablecoins on several Layer-1 networks transacted $6.87 trillion in 2022, surpassing the transaction volumes of Mastercard and PayPal. However, stablecoins still lagged behind the Visa network, which processed nearly double the volume at $11.6 trillion.

This announcement comes less than a week after Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority introduced its stablecoin regulations.

Updated 5:20 pm Dubai UAE time

The UAE Central Bank has issued its long awaited virtual assets and virtual assets service provider framework under the umbrella of a new guidance on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) for licensed financial institutions (LFIs) with a focus on the risks of dealing with virtual assets.

The actual document is more telling than the initial press release. In reality the UAE Central Bank has clarified what is considers as virtual assets and who can offer services in this realm, as well as how banks and financial institutions will work with VASPs when it comes to opening accounts for them and meeting compliance requirements. It also makes clear that virtual assets are not considered a legal tender in the UAE.

Now a lot has been made clear. Earlier this month, there was a position for a Fintech virtual assets senior manager job at a UAE Bank who was required to be specialized in Fintech and virtual assets compliance from a finance crime perspective, which was eye catching because there wasn’t anything yet announced from the UAE Central Bank. Yet now one thing is for certain, banks in the UAE will be scrambling to hire talents who understand the virtual asset ecosystem so they will be able to comply with the recent guidance.

Definition of virtual assets and VASPs

First the UAE Central Bank has defined as they mention in alignment with FATF definitions, what virtual assets are, leaving out of the definition CBDCs and security tokens, as well as some NFTs. As per the guidance, “A virtual asset is a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, or transferred, and can be used for payment or investment purposes, excluding digital representations of fiat currencies, securities, and other funds (such as those separately regulated by the competent authorities of the UAE, including the CBUAE, SCA, VARA, FSRA, and the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”).”

It goes on to explain, “Virtual assets, so defined, typically include assets commonly referred to as cryptocurrencies, cryptocoins, payment tokens, exchange tokens, and convertible virtual currencies. Without prejudice to the definitions in the laws and regulations referred to above, stablecoins may be considered either virtual assets or traditional financial assets depending on their exact nature. No asset should be considered a virtual asset and a traditional financial asset (e.g., a security) at the same time.”

The guidance also discusses payment tokens offered and licensed by payment token service providers. Payment Tokens are defined as a type of Crypto-Asset that is backed by one or more Fiat Currency, can be digitally traded, and functions as a medium of exchange and/or a unit of account and/or a store of value, but does not have legal tender status in any jurisdiction. A Payment Token is neither issued nor guaranteed by any jurisdiction and fulfills the above functions only by agreement within the community of users of the Payment Token. Payment Token Service Providers, in turn, are defined as persons engaged in Payment Token issuing, Payment Token buying, Payment Token selling, facilitating the exchange of Payment Tokens, enabling payments to Merchants and/or enabling peer-to-peer payments, and Custodian Services related to Payment Tokens.

What Virtual assets are not

As for NFTs, they are not considered virtual assets, but this does depend on the nature of the NFT and its function. As stated, “Some NFTs that on their face do not appear to constitute VAs may fall under the VA definition if they are used for payment or investment purposes in practice.”

The guidance makes it clear that the Central Bank of the UAE does not accept or acknowledge virtual assets as a legal tender/currency in the UAE; rather, the only legal tender in the UAE is the UAE dirham. As such, those accepting VAs as payment for goods and services or in exchange for other assets bear any risk associated with the future acceptance or recognition of VAs.

The guidance adds,  by definition VAs cannot be digital representations of fiat currencies, securities, or other separately regulated financial assets, a bank record maintained in digital format, for instance, that represents a person’s ownership of fiat currency is not a VA. However, a digital asset that is exchangeable for another asset, such as a stablecoin that is designed to be exchangeable for a fiat currency or a VA at a fixed rate, could still qualify as a VA, depending on the relevant features of such a stablecoin.

VASP activities overview

There are five basic activities that fall under VASPs as per the UAE Central Bank, but these are not considered as comprehensive only meant for illustrative purposes. They include virtual asset exchange, virtual asset brokers, who transfer ownership of VA from one user to another, virtual asset custodians, P2P exchanges, remittance payments, payment for nonfinancial g goods or services, or payment of wages. A provider offering such a service will likely be a VASP.

The UAE Central Bank has even considered decentralized virtual assets Exchanges or decentralized finance (“DeFi”) application creators, owners, and operators as VASPs given they maintain control or sufficient influence in the DeFi arrangements, even if those arrangements seem decentralized, may fall under the definition of a VASP where they are providing or actively facilitating VASP services. For example, there may be control or sufficient influence over assets or over aspects of the service’s protocol, and the existence of an ongoing business relationship between themselves and users; even if this is exercised through a smart contract or in some cases voting protocols.

Even entities that provide related financial services to issuer’s who offer or sell virtual assets through participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer or sale of a Virtual asset through activities such as initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) are considered as VASPs.

Licensed Financial Institutions AML CFT

Finally as per the AML-CFT Decision, every natural or legal person who carries out any VASP activities, provides VASP products or services, or carries out VASP operations from the state must be licensed, enrolled, or registered by a competent supervisory authority in the UAE.

LFIs are strictly prohibited from establishing relationships or processing transactions with individuals or entities that perform covered VASP activities and are not licensed to do so by UAE authorities. It is therefore essential that LFIs form an understanding of whether its customers perform covered VASP activities and, if so, whether they have fulfilled applicable UAE licensing requirements. LFIs are not permitted to establish relationships or process transactions with foreign VASPs that have not secured a license to operate as a VASP from UAE authorities, even if the foreign VASP is duly licensed or registered outside the UAE.

The guidance warns that LFIs may be indirectly exposed to VA or VASP activity through its customers that use their account or relationship with the LFI to provide downstream financial services to VASPs. In the case of VASP customers, this may include the provision of accounts or custodial wallets that can be used directly by customers of a third-party VASP to transact business on the customer’s own behalf.

The AML-CFT Law brings virtual assets and virtual asset service providers within the scope of the UAE’s AML/CFT legal, regulatory, and supervisory framework. Under Articles 9 and 15 of the AML-CFT Law, VASPs must report suspicious transactions and information relevant to such transactions to the UAE FIU, and under Articles 13 and 14, supervisory authorities are authorized to assess the risks of VASPs, conduct supervisory operations (including inspections) of VASPs, and impose administrative penalties on VASPs for violations of applicable laws and regulations.


In conclusion this is the first comprehensive framework that the UAE Central Bank has published which will allow a select number of VASPs to be able to deal with the licensed financial institutions in the UAE. It will not be easy for the financial sector as the AML and CFT requirements are exhaustive, but it will also not be easy for the VASPs.

Moreover, there is one gap that seems huge and over looked by the UAE Central Bank, and that is what if licensed financial institutions actually want to offer Virtual asset services. So what if a bank actually wants to offer VA custodial services, or VA payment services, or brokerage services, can they both be the provider and the client and what happens to AML and CFT requirements then.

In Bahrain for example the Central Bank is allowing crypto entities to move into the other financial arenas and has even allowed the first digital bank which deals in digital assets to make their base in the country.

Another question that can be raised, is that in a country which has called for more international cooperation and coordination when it comes to regulating virtual assets, then concurrently does not allow any of its financial institutions to deal with any VASP not regulated in the UAE even if they are regulated in other jurisdictions, what precedence is the UAE making in this regards and is reciprocity the new name of the game?

With regulations taking force in UAE especially when it comes to virtual assets, the country that once boasted of having 1800 blockchain and crypto entities might see that number dwindle as most of these companies will not be able to comply to the regulatory requirements rendering them unable to receive services from the banking sector. 

We can already see this decline in number on the new website for VARA, where there were once dozens of names listed as on the course of receiving licenses, today there is a handful.

Next to be published will definately be the payments rulebook under VARA which was missing before. Can’t wait to see what that will bring to the table. 

UAE based EnjinStarter MENA, a web3 Launchpad and incubator, has become the first launchpad globally to receive initial approval by Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority.

According to the unilateral announcement, EnjinStarter will continue to undertake the in-depth process of applying for a licence, in accordance with VARA requirements.

With the Middle East and North Africa considered to be a booming Web3 market, Enjinstarter is seeking a foothold in the region as it aims to be the premier Launchpad and incubator for Web3 metaverse, gaming, and entertainment experiences.

Enjinstarter has ambitious plans to be the go-to provider for Web3 adoption in the region, including the addition of more portfolio projects focusing on impact and sustainability initiatives that complement the UAE’s commitment to climate action.

“This is an important step for Enjinstarter. Getting initial approval and continuing with our license application makes clear our commitment to achieving the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the Web3 space. We are committed to   conforming to VARA’s high standards and know this will only accelerate our growth in the Middle East and beyond,” said Prakash Somosundram, co-founder and CEO of Enjinstarter.

“Dubai has been laser-focused on establishing itself as a global hub for Web3. It continues to provide much-needed leadership in terms of regulation and innovation, especially with initiatives such as VARA’s own foray into The Sandbox. We are looking forward to getting started here and contributing to Dubai’s growing Web3 ecosystem,” added Vasseh Ahmed, Enjinstarter MENA’s managing director.

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), with the commencement of its Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Phase, has announced Regulatory Guidelines on Marketing, Advertising and Promotions of VA across the Emirate of Dubai.

The new VARA regulations specifically address marketing and communications activities, ahead of operationalizing the MVP licensees so that any mass-market information dissemination and consumer solicitation are designed to safeguard community interests.

Regulations on Marketing, Advertising and Promotions of Virtual Assets cover all forms of outreach, communications and advertising, including publication of information, awareness building, customer engagement, and/or investor solicitation.

VARA rules extend to VA related communications by any entity leveraging Dubai-based media sites, search platforms, and online or off-line publishing channels that explicitly target customers within the Dubai market, establishing guardrails on permissible audience segments, in addition to content obligations.

Equally all content dissemination channels operating from Dubai are obligated to act responsibly, and ensure compliance with prevailing Guidance as it pertains to VA communications facilitated via their platforms.

VARA guidelines further detail the obligations of Dubai licensed VASPs and any advertising platforms that are positioning VA content across traditional and new-age media channels for the Dubai market, to ensure factual accuracy, explicitly demonstrate any promotional intent, and in no way mislead on the guaranteed nature of their returns.

The principles are supplemented by rigid enforcement standards and penalties for non-compliance that collectively provide market confidence ahead of MVP operations, as it augments marketing, data protection and consumer protection laws that have been well embedded across the UAE.

800,000 Saudi’s used digital currencies in 2021 with the value of virtual asset transactions in Saudi at around 20 billion USD and this is expected to grow five times over the next five years. The information was shared by Ali AlObaid, Managing Director of BitOasis crypto exchange, to Arab News

In the article he states, “We believe that this can grow by five times over the next five years. Last year, KSA probably represented 15 percent of Gulf Cooperation Council and Middle East and North Africa activity.”

He added that around 4 percent of adult population in MENA will have invested in crypto by the end of 2022. While in the USA 20 percent of adults have invested in crypto.

BitOasis user base in KSA is primarily millennials, 25-34 year old’s, with 30 percent of those trading on BitOasis between the ages of 35-44 years.

In a YouGov survey recently it noted that 1.8 percent of Saudi Arabian residents currently trade in cryptocurrencies. Yet it is Morocco that tops crypto ownership as per a TripleA report, followed by Egypt, UAE, and then KSA.

The report noted that in 2021 3.9 percent or 300 million people were crypto users globally with 18,000 businesses accepting crypto payments.

So Now the UAE is being dubbed the Wall Street of Crypto. The terminology was first coined by no other than CZ (Zhao Changpeng) the Founder of Binance, whom a BloomBerg article noted as saying that the UAE is definitely the headquarters of Binance. This is the first time in the history of Binance where it actually announces it even has a headquarter.

It would seem that the Wall Street of Crypto has ousted both France and Bahrain as the base for Binance, as well as Singapore which Binance retreated from several months ago.

In the meantime Binance is actually bringing on Wall Street veterans such as Vishal Sacheendran, the former New York Mellon Bank executive who now holds the position of UAE based director for the Middle East and North Africa.  Richard Teng the head of Middle East and North Africa at Binance says more appointments from the banking sector will follow.

So far the UAE has granted licenses to a handful of international and global crypto exchanges including the latest Kraken, in addition to Binance, and others.

Despite this, Singapore is fighting back. Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, explained during the Financial Times’ Crypto & Digital Assets Summit on 27 April 2022 how much effort Singapore has put into blockchain, digital assets and digital payments.

As Menon in his speech stated, “In the last two years, we have granted licenses or in-principle approvals to 11 digital payment tokens service providers. They include global stablecoin players like Paxos, crypto exchanges like Coinhako as well as established financial institutions like DBS Vickers.  We have also issued in-principle approvals to Revolut and Luno.”

He adds, “The licensing process is stringent because we want to be a responsible global crypto hub, with innovative players but also with strong risk management capabilities. We only approve applicants with strong governance structures, fit and proper board and management, and we go through their track record.”

This ofcourse comes after the UAE announced its virtual asset regulatory Authority and its open stance towards crypto.

The interesting take away from all of this is who will eventually win the tug of war to be the hub for blockchain, crypto, and digital asset innovation, will it be The Wall Street of Crypto or the responsible global crypto hub, or maybe another country all together.