Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange Releases Thought Paper on Crypto Assets

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), in collaboration with Central Securities Depositories and with support from International Securities Service Association (ISSA), recently released a thought paper containing infrastructural guidelines for distributed ledger technologies, and issuance of cryptocurrencies, reports the Emirates News Agency on 6 November 2018.

In an attempt to provide clarity on the technical and operational standards required for the issuance of cryptocurrencies, ADX designed the thought paper as a sample protocol to form a framework guiding financial institutions who want to transit back and forth between traditional financial assets and cryptocurrencies.

The securities exchange, having 69 traditional Emirati companies listed already, continues to drive towards innovation to achieve the fintech pinnacle. This was clarified in a statement made by its CEO Rashed Al Blooshi:

“At ADX, we embrace new and innovative technology and are always looking to capitalize on advancements in FinTech… ADX continues its efforts to manage the transition from conventional assets to more encrypted assets, which are witnessing major and rapid development in the region.”

Al Blooshi sees ADX as an important player in the regular financial markets. By leveraging its membership with the ISSA Central Securities Depositories Working Group, it plans on gaining more exposure to distributed ledger technology in order to further develop the blockchain infrastructural space. He further acknowledges that the current financial market is outdated and in need of an infrastructural overhaul and that this should be prioritized alongside incorporating standards of governance in order to keep the market whole and maintain investors’ confidence.

Apart from the fintech application of blockchain, as a nation, the UAE has shown great interest in the development of other blockchain-related products and promoting the industry within its economy.

In April, the UAE government launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021. This scheme is expected to help the emirate nation capitalize on the perks of blockchain enterprise by transforming 50% of government transactions into the blockchain platform by 2021. Objectively, this would help it save AED 11 billion in transactions and document processed routinely, 398 million printed documents annually, and 77 million work hours annually – in summary, save time, efforts and resources.

A little further down the year, the UAE began showing interest in initial coin offerings (ICO), when its national securities regulator hinted on plans to open up its capital market to ICOs. Rigorous regulatory exercises accompanied this intention since ICOs, according to the Board of Emirate Securities, are now considered as securities.

 

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