Dubai’s virtual asset regulator (VARA) has not only entered the social media scene but has announced its plans for 2024 which will include enhancements to its regulatory infrastructure with introduction of real world use cases for tokenized fractionalized market participation using Blockchain as well as TradeFi, DeFi regulations while it has phased out its MVP licensing program.
As per Mathew White, CEO of Dubai’s VARA, “The industry can expect to see enhancements to the regulatory infrastructure for trading, devising innovative market structures for seamless transactions, and activating real-world use cases for secure, tokenized and fractionalized market participation using trustless blockchain networks.”
Dubai’s virtual asset regulator also discussed its achievements in 2023. VARA, announced that in 2023 it awarded 19 regulated VASP licenses, of which 11 are already operational. In addition 72 initial approvals have been issued to new entrants and have commenced licensing process.
The regulator also stated that it had issued 133 application acknowledgement notices which is a reflection of its proactive and responsive approach.
A total of 116 Proprietary Trading NOCs have been issued, with an additional 37 assessed and ready to be issued while 94 non-VA activity confirmation notices were also issued.
Matthew White, CEO of VARA, commented: “As we open 2024, VARA is poised to accelerate its comprehensive focus on bolstering the infrastructure, broadening the spread and deepening the resilience of our VA ecosystem. Our commitment remains ensuring a secure and innovative environment for service providers and consumers alike. To this end, the industry can expect to see enhancements to the regulatory infrastructure for trading, devising innovative market structures for seamless transactions, and activating real-world use cases for secure, tokenized and fractionalized market participation using trustless blockchain networks.
He adds, “This endeavor involves close collaboration with market participants, particularly the mix of TradFi and native crypto with regulatory peers, underpinned by best practice protocols including those prescribed by FATF. Our goalpost remains unchanged; we started this journey 22 months ago and in this short space of time have built a strong foundation that we are in a position to accelerate from. 2024 will be the year to further Dubai’s position as the global leader in the new economy underpinned by a regulated VA ecosystem, contributing substantially to the GDP.”
When it comes to decentralized Finance, White in the press release, states, “As the lines between traditional finance and decentralized finance blur, VARA recognizes the importance of progressive technology and the need to fast-track maturity in investor and consumer protection, along with managing cross-border risks. We continue to foster awareness, education, and a collective recognition of our evolving digital landscape, leveraging marketing as a vehicle to enhance the impact of our policy-making and regulatory efforts.”
In addition the virtual asset regulator also notes that its Minimum Viable Product [MVP] Licensing program is being phased out as it has served the purpose for which it was initiated in a period where the full market regulations had not been formally launched.
All this will be done in alignment with international regulatory standards, especially FATF. VARA will collaborate with traditional finance regulators, such as the Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) and the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), syncing efforts for FATF-compliant security in cross-border asset flows.