Financial regulators in the United Arab Emirates have entered into an agreement to formally approve and support cryptocurrency trading in the Dubai Economic Zone.
The Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA) announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) to support the regulation and trading of cryptocurrency in the DWTCA Free Zone.
The new initiative establishes a structure for the DWTCA to issue the necessary permits and licenses for crypto-related financial activities. As part of the agreement, the SCA will also oversee major crypto-related operations such as issuance, listing, trading and licensing.
The agreement was reportedly signed by Acting CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority Maryam Al Suwaidi, and Hilal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Center, and head of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai.
Al Suwaidi said the new project is in line with the DWTCA’s commitment to expand services as a free zone and support new technologies such as intangible tokens. He added, “As Dubai continues to move towards innovation and a digital economy, the DWTCA is committed to supporting businesses based on blockchain and cryptography.”
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The DWTCA and SCA did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. The authorities previously concluded a similar agreement to stimulate the development of the crypto industry at the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority in May.
The new agreement reinforces the growing ambition of the UAE to become a global crypto-friendly hub.
In April, Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touk Al-Marri said that cryptocurrency and asset tokenization will be key to the country’s plans to double the economy in 10 years. The local exchange, Nasdaq Dubai, launched a public Bitcoin (BTC) fund in June with Canadian digital manager 3iQ.