Trading of Cryptocurrencies in Dubai, UAE

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Dubai is advancing in cryptocurrency regulations, aiming to lead in economic development with crypto licensing. Dubai crypto licence is now available in select free zones, and the UAE is expanding crypto legislation for more businesses. Leading exchanges, including Binance, are entering the UAE in 2022, with Kraken also eyeing the Middle East. Given these moves, the UAE is set to emerge as a key global crypto hub for the region.


Obtaining UAE Crypto Licence

For initiating a crypto business in UAE, consider these licensing locations:


ADGM License

Located in Abu Dhabi, the ADGM financial free zone has outlined crypto regulations since 2018, offering licenses for:

- Crypto exchange

- Asset custody

- Trading & management of accepted assets

- Crypto asset marketing


DMCC License

Dubai's DMCC isn't financially regulated but pioneers in crypto licensing, offering:

- Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) services

- Proprietary crypto commodity trading

- NFT E-marketplace & Metaverse services


DWTC License

DWTC free zone, under the Securities and Commodities Authority supervision, provides licenses for:

- Proprietary crypto commodity trading

- DLT services


DAFZA License

DAFZA offers a specialized license for proprietary trading in crypto commodities.

Each zone provides unique services and licenses tailored to various crypto business needs. For detailed assistance, engage professional advisory services.


Acquiring UAE Crypto License: Steps S & Tips

To get a crypto license in UAE, follow these steps:

1. Identify the exact crypto activity you intend to conduct.

2. Outline your business objectives and strategies.

3. Apply to the preferred authority for registration.

4. Ensure you meet all specific requirements for your chosen activity.

5. Complete the application process and obtain the license.

The requirements and costs vary significantly based on the type of crypto business, e.g., a crypto exchange vs. a proprietary trading firm.


Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrency in UAE

The main state body that sets the rules for cryptocurrency activities in the country is the SCA (Securities and Commodities Authority). Cryptoasset regulations are relevant for most cryptoassets on organized markets. Custodial assets and payment tokens such as stablecoins are regulated by the UAE Central Bank.

The ADGM is a free zone and has its own guidelines for cryptoasset activities and complies with the SCA rules.

The FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority), which has its own guidelines and rules, directly regulates ADGM.


Crypto Asset Risk in UAE

The UAE recognizes crypto asset-related risks:

- Money Laundering

- Terrorism Financing

Companies in the crypto sector must establish robust regulations aligned with:

UAE Anti-Money Laundering & Combatting Terrorism Financing laws.

ADGM's Anti Money Laundering and Sanctions Rules.

International Best Practices (e.g., FATF recommendations).

Essential principles to adhere to include:

- Risk-Based Approach

- Business Risk Assessment

- KYC & Due Diligence Procedures

- Governance, Systems, & Controls

- Reporting Obligations

- Record Keeping

Following these principles and standards is mandatory for crypto companies in the UAE to operate legally.


Prifinance is the Best Choice for Legal Support in the Field of Cryptocurrencies

Thanks to the extensive experience and professionalism of Prifinance, clients can obtain the necessary license for cryptocurrency exchange, including in Dubai.  They will also help you to build a reliable business structure for cryptocurrency mining as soon as possible and more.

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