On November 2, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) expanded its list of recognized tokens to include Ripple’s XRP and Toncoin (TON).
These tokens are now part of the list of recognized coins in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), alongside Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). XRP and TON’s new recognition means financial institutions within the DIFC can now use them for transactions.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse commented on this recent approval, saying, “It’s refreshing to see the DFSA encourage the adoption and use of digital assets such as XRP to position Dubai as a leading financial services hub intent on attracting foreign investment and accelerating economic growth.”
The DFSA has established a thorough framework for the DIFC, focusing on the long-term growth of the crypto, payments and fintech sectors in Dubai. It also offers guidance for companies looking to establish themselves in the free zone.
Ripple set up its MENA headquarters in the DIFC in 2020 because of Dubai’s innovative regulations, extensive network and its status as a major global financial hub. Around 20 percent of Ripple’s customers are located in the MENA region.
The DIFC introduced cryptocurrency regulations in October 2021 and expanded them in November 2022.
In late September, the DIFC revealed plans for a new Digital Assets Law. Additionally, it proposed the repeal of the 2005 Law of Security and Financial Collateral Regulations, aiming to replace them with an updated Law of Security that includes collateral regulations.
The DIFC’s proposed digital assets law defines the legal aspects of digital assets, including their ownership, control, transfer and use.
The upcoming Security Law will draw from the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s secured transactions model, with some adjustments. These laws are currently open for public input until November 5.
This follows the recent adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Foundations Regulations by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, which became effective on November 1.
In March 2022, UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Al Maktoum established the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which has enforcement powers in Dubai’s special development and free zones, except for DIFC.
“Approving the virtual asset law and establishing the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority is a vital step that establishes the UAE’s position in this sector, a step that aims to help the sector to grow and protect investors,” said Al Maktoum.
Dubai residents need to register with VARA before engaging in crypto activities. Companies dealing with virtual assets, such as operating crypto exchanges, transferring cryptocurrencies, or offering token-related services, are now required to establish a presence in Dubai.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao praised the establishment of VARA, emphasizing the significance of regulatory clarity for crypto assets.
In other news, the National Bank of Georgia has chosen Ripple as its official tech partner for a digital lari pilot project, beating eight other candidates. This partnership seeks to improve the use of blockchain technology in the country’s financial system.
The project is progressing into a pilot phase and live testing, focusing on a digital version of the Georgian lari (GEL) using Ripple’s CBDC Platform, powered by the XRP Ledger (XRPL). The pilot phase will explore applications of the digital lari in the public sector and businesses.
Besides the Ripple-Georgia partnership, Ripple runs pilot programs with governments in five regions, including Bhutan, Palau, Colombia, Montenegro and Hong Kong. It is also in discussions with more than 20 other countries.
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