Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority has amended its Crypto Asset Activities Guidance. The Guidance was first issued in mid-2018 and has since been amended twice. It was the first guidance of its kind when it was published then. The amended Guidance includes key updates on Stablecoins and Fiat Tokens, Custody, Technology Governance and Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Rules and Guidance.
Stablecoins which are fully backed by fiat currencies (Fiat Tokens) will be treated as a form of digital currency. When they are used as a payment instrument for Money Transmission which is defined under the Global Market’s Financial Services and Markets Regulations 2015, the activity will be licensed and regulated as Providing Money Services. The amended guidance also sets out the Authority’s approach to regulating issuers, custodians and exchanges using Fiat Tokens. The amended guidance provides further clarity on the types of crypto asset custody activities which can be undertaken and sets out the Authority’s expectations in terms of custody governance and operations.
In addition, there are amendments to the technology governance provisions in the guidance. For example, there are changes in the underlying protocol of a crypto asset which results in a fork or coding change, and the associated governance and control expectations for crypto asset exchanges and license holders.
Finally, the guidance has been amended to reflect the latest changes in anti-money laundering and sanctions changes and there is additional clarity on the use of new regulatory and surveillance technologies in this area.