In order to discuss strategy for blockchain and virtual assets in alignment with the Emirates’ economic strategy, the Abu Dhabi Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee (ADBVAC) held its first meeting under the leadership of H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and chairman of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
Addressing this first meeting, Al Shorafa said, “The formation of ADBVAC reflects our leadership’s farsighted vision and approach, which enabled Abu Dhabi to nurture a supportive business environment, unparalleled connectivity and infrastructure and an entrepreneurial mindset that presents investors with growth opportunities.
“The Committee is bringing together all the relevant stakeholders to build a robust, credible and comprehensive regulatory and business ecosystem that addresses key risks and major governance issues, such as AML/CFT, investor protection, tech governance and custody risk, to promote blockchain and virtual assets.
“This will allow us to capitalise on blockchain technology and virtual assets to achieve Abu Dhabi’s aspirations, and the priority areas for this will be growth clusters including AgriTech, FinTech, Healthcare and Biopharma, Energy, Tourism and ICT, as we aim to foster businesses in these sectors to expand and accelerate.”
The Committee emphasized the importance of regulating blockchain and virtual asset activities to comply with the Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) international and local rules and regulations and to build an ecosystem that is safe, sound and transparent, which will help build trust and attract more companies to Abu Dhabi.
The Committee seeks to improve Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness in blockchain and virtual asset space, coordinate efforts of entities active in the industry, liaise with regulators and promote compliance of industry participants with global standards and regulatory requirements. The committee is particularly focused on AML/CFT regulations and supporting the exchange of information and best practices.
The ADBVAC is comprised of representatives of major entities and stakeholders active in this field, including Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Registration Authority; Wai Lum Kwok, senior executive director authorization at ADGM; Mohammed Kaissi, director of strategic projects at ADQ; Faisal Al Hammadi, executive director incubation at ADQ; H.E. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; Dr. Nikolas Meitanis, advisor at Masdar CEO Office, Ibrahim Ajami, head of ventures and growth at Mubadala; Eng. Abdulla Al Shamsi, director general of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO); and H.E. Dr. Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi, CEO of securities and commodities authority (SCA).
Also read: UAE Central Bank set to launch digital currency by 2026