Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulator Aims For Crypto Firm Relief

Matthew White, CEO of Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), expressed the watchdog’s aim to simplify processes for smaller crypto entities.

During a regulatory panel discussion at the Paris Blockchain Week, White conceded that cryptocurrency regulations have flaws, expressing his commitment to enhancing them.

The VARA official emphasized that undergoing regulation is a financially burdensome process, often beyond the means of many individuals. White highlighted the watchdog’s firsthand encounter with this issue, prompting them to seek out remedies.

White proposed a potential solution wherein larger participants could “host” smaller ones. Under this arrangement, entities with greater resources would bear the costs, as White elucidated:

The burden of compliance falls on the major systemic players, enabling smaller players to enter the ecosystem, be regulated, and avoid enduring the same magnitude of compliance costs.

VARA CEO Drives Regulatory Innovation For Crypto Firm

The VARA CEO further emphasized that examining such matters is integral to the regulator’s process of fostering innovation while formulating regulations. The official reiterated their commitment to ongoing dialogue with the industry to gain deeper insights.

However, It’s moving swiftly. As a regulator, we acknowledge we don’t have all the answers,” he stated. White took over as CEO of VARA last year, succeeding former CEO Henson Orser. VARA disclosed on Nov. 16 that White’s appointment was integral to its plans to gear up for full-scale market operations.

The United Arab Emirates tightened regulations and levied fines on unlicensed virtual asset service providers concurrently with the leadership change. Together, regulators in the United Arab Emirates released a combined advisory for VASPs on November 8 that outlined the penalties and fines associated with non-compliance.

The shift occurs amidst the United Arab Emirates’ tightening of regulations and imposition of fines on unlicensed virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Various regulators in the UAE have issued a collective guidance for VASPs on November 8th.

The updated regulations included a number of fines for VASPs operating in the area without the required permits. Following the collapse of FTX, he led VARA in creating rules for the cryptocurrency industry. These rules went into effect early in 2023.

Related Reading | Lawyer explains new federal virtual asset law in the United Arab Emirates

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