The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has granted approval for Ripple (XRP) and Toncoin (TON) to be used within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This approval now allows licensed virtual asset firms operating within the DIFC to integrate these tokens into their virtual asset services.
XRP and TON now stand alongside Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) as the initial assets authorized by the DFSA under its virtual assets regime in 2022.
Dubai’s inclusion of XRP and TON into its financial landscape holds the potential to open up new avenues for regional payments and other virtual asset applications.
In 2020, Ripple chose the DIFC as the site for its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) headquarters, citing Dubai’s forward-thinking regulations, extensive network, and reputation as a prominent global financial hub.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has, in fact, quickly emerged as a leading jurisdiction, diligently working to offer clear and comprehensive regulations for licensed firms offering virtual asset services.
Last year, Dubai further solidified its position with the establishment of the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), tasked with supervising and regulating the provision, use, and exchange of virtual assets.
Companies interested in engaging in cryptocurrency operations in Dubai are obliged to obtain a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license issued by VARA, with prominent names like Binance, Coinbase, and Bybit among the licensees.
Beyond VARA, there’s also the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which boasts its own regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) has issued licenses to several crypto exchanges, including Gemini and Rain.
Dubai is already home to over 700 licensed crypto businesses, and this number is expected to grow significantly in the years to come.
Notably, Dubai is at the forefront of Web3 technologies. In 2022, the city unveiled its ambitious Metaverse Strategy, projected to create 40,000 new job opportunities within the virtual realm and inject $500 million into the national economy. As part of this strategy, the DIFC unveiled the “DIFC Metaverse Platform” in January 2023 to support Web3 initiatives.