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Dubai Threatens to Throw the Crypto Rulebook at Lawbreakers

2 mins
7 February 2023, 18:00 GMT+0000
Updated by Geraint Price
7 February 2023, 18:00 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • Dubai crypto regulatory body has released various rulebooks for virtual asset service providers.
  • The breach of rules can result in a fine of up to 500,000 AED.
  • Governments globally are recognizing cryptocurrencies and regulating them.
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The independent crypto regulatory body in Dubai has released rulebooks for licensing, with non-compliance inviting penalties of up to 500,000 AED ($136,000).

2023 might prove to be a year of crypto regulations as countries release specific rules for the asset class. Governments worldwide are realizing the use-case of blockchain technology and bringing regulations to drive innovation.

Dubai, one of the favorite destinations for crypto-related events and conferences, has released rulebooks for crypto regulations. The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) aims to position Dubai as the regional and international crypto hub.

Source: VERA

Crypto Service Providers Need to Comply

VARA, the independent virtual assets regulator, released guidelines for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) operating in Dubai. VASPs must comply with four compulsory rulebooks to offer their services. These rulebooks include guidelines for compliance, risk management, market conduct, and other requirements.

Additionally, there are other rulebooks specific to certain activities. The guidelines aim to provide VASPs with a “framework of rules which apply to their particular operations and business models.” The list of all the rulebooks released by VERA is shown in the screenshot attached below:

crypto regulations rulebook for Dubai
Source: VERA

The VARA guidelines are not in action yet, as they await final approval from the Board of Directors.

Fine for Breach of Guidelines

VARA has also released Marketing, Advertising, and Promotion regulations for the market participants. There are heavy penalties for the breach of these guidelines in the range of 50,000 to 200,000 AED. 

If a business repeats the same violation within the year, it will have to pay double the fine up to 500,000 AED ($136,000).

fine for breach of crypto regulatory guidelines
Source: VERA Penalties for non-compliance

The crypto lawyer Irina Heaver believes that “regulatory certainty is a good thing for entrepreneurs, consumers, and Dubai.”

Global Crypto Regulations 

Not just Dubai, but countries globally are pushing for crypto regulations and licensing. The United Kingdom has entered the second phase of the crypto regulations with the Finance Ministry seeking feedback from the industry stakeholders.

Italy is pushing for crypto licensing in the wake of the FTX collapse. Several exchanges, such as Gemini, Nexo, Binance, Coinbase, and, have already registered in Italy. Furthermore, the nation has started imposing a 26% capital gains tax on crypto profits greater than 2,000 euros.

France has asked crypto-related firms to receive preliminary approval before operating in the nation. On the other hand, Hong Kong has committed to becoming a global crypto hub with a robust regulatory framework.

On Monday, South Korea announced the regulation of security tokens for business ownership. It has plans to launch a public metaverse for its cities, Seoul and Seongnam. 

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