The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has approved the digital asset of blockchain and crypto solution provider, Ripple: XRP. 

The move by the DFSA means the digital asset can be used within the DIFC. In turn, licensed virtual asset firms within the DIFC will now be able to incorporate XRP into their virtual asset services. XRP is the first virtual asset approved by the DFSA’s virtual assets regime; it joins BTC, ETH and LTC as the assets previously approved.

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, said: “Dubai continues to demonstrate global leadership when it comes to the regulation of virtual assets and nurturing innovation. It’s refreshing to see the DFSA encourage the adoption and use of digital assets such as XRP to position Dubai as a leading financial services hub intent on attracting foreign investment and accelerating economic growth.

“Ripple will continue to double down on its presence in Dubai and we look forward to continuing to work closely with regulators to realize crypto’s full potential.”

Additional regulatory clarity

XRP now stands to benefit from legal and regulatory clarity in the DIFC. It will also be available for use by institutions located in the DIFC to accelerate faster, more efficient global value exchange.

The UAE has fast become one of the most innovative jurisdictions intent on offering regulatory clarity and guidance for licensed firms to offer virtual asset services. With the DFSA’s regime for the DIFC, the independent regulator is committed to the long-term development of the crypto, payments and fintech ecosystem within Dubai. This is as well as providing guidance for companies to set up shop in the free zone.

Dubai also has the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) which was established last year to protect investors. All the while, maintaining high levels of risk assurance, and facilitating innovation.

Dubai’s listing of XRP has the potential to unlock new regional payments and other virtual asset use cases on the XRP Ledger. As a key builder and user of the XRP Ledger, Ripple chose the DIFC as the location for its MENA headquarters in 2020 due to Dubai’s innovation-forward regulations, expansive network and reputation as a leading global financial centre. Approximately 20% of Ripple’s customers are based in MENA.

Taking to the stage in Dubai

The announcement comes as Ripple Swell, Ripple’s flagship event bringing together influential financial industry and regulatory voices, is set to be hosted in Dubai on November 8-9.

It follows previous successful events which saw hundreds of Ripple’s customers and partners come together in major global financial centres including London and Singapore. The DIFC’s chief operating officer Alya Al Zarouni will take the main stage. VARA’s CEO Hensen Orser alongside other national and global thought leaders, decision-makers, and policymakers from the worlds of fintech, finance and crypto will also take to the stage.

  • Francis Bignell

    Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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