Strong regime in place in DIFC for digital assets.
DIFC provides an ideal regional base for firms providing financial services in relation to digital assets and crypto tokens. The Centre has a future focused regulatory regime, which enables responsible use of both investment and crypto tokens within the financial ecosystem.
As the digital asset debate within the financial industry has moved from “why” to “when,” DIFC has adapted. Regulations are now in place for recognised crypto tokens, including fiat crypto tokens.
Investment tokens are also covered. This includes issuance, trading on DFSA regulated exchanges and multilateral trading facilities, holdings in digital wallets, and the ability to deal, arrange and advise on, and conduct associated asset management activities.
Digital asset related regimes also address issues such as market abuse, AML/CFT, consumer protection and IT governance.
All firms who are currently providing, or want to provide, financial services in relation to crypto tokens in or from DIFC will need to obtain the appropriate licence from the DFSA.
To obtain this, firms will first need to submit a pre-application to the DFSA. This includes existing authorised firms that wish to obtain a variation of their licence to include crypto tokens.
3 easy steps to start setting up your business
Step one.Apply for approval from DFSA
Financial entities must complete the following steps with the Centre’s regulatory body, DFSA:
- Submitting a letter of intent
- Conducting an initial informal review with DFSA.
- Submitting a full application, including a regulatory business plan.
Step two.Sign up
After receiving an initial approval from DFSA, entities are required to complete the following:
- Incorporation or registration with DIFC Registrar of Companies.
- Opening a local bank account and providing proof of remittance of capital.
- Securing office space from where it will conduct its financial activities.
Once the conditions are fulfilled, DFSA grants a licence, and the entity may start operations.