Tag:United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Global Market sets out guidance on ICOs
Dubai International Financial Centre launches region’s first FinTech accelerator

Abu Dhabi Global Market sets out guidance on ICOs

By Rizwan Qayyum

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has released guidelines on ICOs and Virtual Currencies.

Much like other guidance, consumer protection is the key motivating factor behind this release. It notes that if an ICO has characteristics of a security, i.e. some associated right of ownership or value in the issuing company, then the FSRA will regulate. Christopher Kiew Smith, head of FinTech at the FSRA discusses the “incredibly diverse” market of quality of ICOs and thus some of the tokens issued will be of high-risk for consumers.

The FSRA appear to want to work with firms who aim to use ICOs in a “transparent fashion”. Under the issued guidelines, companies wishing to execute an ICO must approach the FSRA to learn whether it will fall under the body’s regulation. Companies will also be requested to publish a prospectus (which is assuming similar to a current white paper, but the extent of information required in this was not mentioned), and further, secondary market operators dealing with ICOs must also be approved by the FSRA.

There are, however, some ICOs that will remain unregulated. If a token issued as part of an ICO does not constitute an “offer of securities” it will remain unregulated. In such instances, the regulator said investors should exercise “extreme caution” before committing money.

The FSRA also commented on virtual currencies, noting that these are not legal tender, but seen as “commodities”; akin to precious metals. As such, these remain unregulated.

Dubai International Financial Centre launches region’s first FinTech accelerator

By Jonathan Lawrence

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the federal financial free zone situated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, announced on 10 January 2017 the launch of the region’s first FinTech accelerator.

The FinTech Hive at DIFC accelerator aims to create a platform that will provide selected companies the opportunity to test and modify their FinTech advances. It will identify leading technology entrepreneurs and companies through a competitive process and offer them the opportunity to collaborate with executives from DIFC and regional and international financial institutions. Accenture has been chosen to set up and operate the accelerator

About 150–200 companies are expected to take part in the FinTech Hive over a five-year period, and no specific funding amount has been provided. The FinTech Hive is also interested in growing companies that have a product currently deployed outside of financial services but that are interested in entering this sector.

For the FinTech Hive at DIFC website, please click here.

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