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UAE Announces Freezone For Digital & Virtual Asset Companies

Applications will be allowed during the second quarter of 2023.

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uae announces freezone for digital and virtual asset companies

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and UAE Supreme Council Member, has set plans in motion to establish the world’s first digital and virtual asset company freezone.

The independent governmental authority known as the RAK Digital Assets Oasis is affiliated with the newly created Department of the Future. The recently implemented law grants the RAK Digital Assets Oasis complete financial, administrative, and legislative independence, allowing it to function as a purpose-built free zone for the virtual assets sector.

Also Read: Riyadh Air Makes Multi-Billion Dollar Deal With Boeing

“The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has been playing a leading role in national efforts to strengthen the UAE’s diversified, sustainable economy. With the nation’s focus on digitalization and encouraging enterprises of the future, RAK Digital Assets Oasis will serve as the gateway for global digital and virtual assets companies to establish their operations and grow their business,” says His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

The Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis freezone opens for applications in Q2 of 2023. The government hopes to attract innovators and startups in a range of sectors, including the metaverse, blockchain, virtual asset wallets, NFTs, and other Web3-related businesses.

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Binance Receives Virtual Assets License To Operate In Dubai

As its user base nears 200 million, CEO Richard Teng believes crypto adoption will soar over the next half of the decade.

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binance receives virtual assets license to operate in dubai

Global crypto exchange Binance has been granted a full operational license in Dubai, in a move that’s expected to accelerate digital asset adoption and strengthen the UAE’s regulatory landscape.

The virtual asset service provider license (VASP) was granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and will allow Binance to extend its current range of services to retail investors, the company announced yesterday.

The move by Dubai authorities will be critical to Binance’s strategy of growing its user base globally. The crypto exchange expects to pass the 200 million user mark “quite shortly”, according to Richard Teng, the company’s CEO.

Once that milestone is achieved, Binance will have around twice as many users as rival platform Coinbase. Meanwhile, Crypto.com, another popular exchange with 80 million users, received a Dubai VASP license last week.

“We’re seeing much greater institutional adoption and institutional money coming into this space [along with] much greater regulatory clarity and a lot more jurisdictions approving [digital asset] products that bring in new investor classes,” Binance’s Richard Tang explained, adding: “As of now, we stand at about 5% crypto adoption globally, but that will become much faster moving forward”.

Also Read: Microsoft Invests $1.5 Billion In Abu Dhabi AI Tech Firm G42

Dubai and the UAE are extremely supportive of technologies like digital assets, and have already launched initiatives to boost adoption. The UAE has ambitious plans to become a world leader in the crypto economy of the future, with Dubai in particular being noteworthy for passing a new law to regulate virtual assets to support investors and exchanges.

“Global crypto regulation is currently showing diverging signs. Some developed countries have long suffered from crypto-related frauds and illegal exchanges. On the other hand, emerging nations like the UAE and Singapore have enacted crypto laws at faced pace,” said Vijay Valecha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Century Financial.

As the UAE gears up to become one of the fastest-growing crypto capitals worldwide, investors and talent are flocking to places like Dubai. During 2023, the Emirates as a whole realized $204 million in capital gains from cryptocurrency investments, according to blockchain data analysts Chainalysis.

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