Abu Dhabi to launch blockchain and virtual assets strategy

Abu Dhabi to launch blockchain and virtual assets strategy

Abu Dhabi blockchain

Under the chairmanship of Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, head of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the Abu Dhabi Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee (ADBVAC) held its inaugural meeting to discuss a strategy for blockchain and virtual assets.

The committee emphasised the significance of regulating blockchain and virtual asset operations to adhere to anti money laundering/combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) with international and local norms and regulations and create an environment that is safe, sound, and transparent, which would help foster confidence and draw more businesses to Abu Dhabi.

The committee was created to increase Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness in the blockchain and virtual asset space, coordinate the efforts of entities involved, communicate with regulators, and promote industry participants’ compliance with international standards and regulatory requirements, particularly AML/CFT regulations, while also fostering information sharing and best practices.

To this end, the ADBVAC is comprised of representatives of major entities and stakeholders active in this field including Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Registration Authority, Wai Lum Kwok, senior executive director Authorisation at ADGM, Mohammed Kaissi, director of Strategic Projects at ADQ, Faisal Al Hammadi, executive director Incubation at ADQ, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi , CEO of Masdar, Dr Nikolas Meitanis , advisor at Masdar CEO Office, Ibrahim Ajami, head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala, Abdulla Al Shamsi, director–general of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), and Dr Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi, CEO of Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

Addressing the first meeting, Al Shorafa said: “The formation of Abu Dhabi’s Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee reflects our leadership farsighted vision and approach, which enabled Abu Dhabi to nurture a supportive business environment, unparalleled connectivity and infrastructure and an entrepreneurial mindset that presents investors with growth opportunities.”

“The committee is bringing together all the relevant stakeholders to build a robust, credible, and comprehensive regulatory and business ecosystem that addresses key risks and major governance issues, such as AML/CFT, investor protection, tech governance, and custody risk, to promote blockchain and virtual assets.”

“This will allow us to capitalise on blockchain technology and virtual assets to achieve Abu Dhabi’s aspirations, and the priority areas for this will be growth clusters including agritech, fintech, healthcare and biopharma, energy, tourism, and ICT as we aim to foster businesses in these sectors to expand and accelerate”.

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