The Abu Dhabi Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee (ADBVAC) held its first meeting, under the chairmanship of Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Chairman Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), to discuss strategy for blockchain and virtual assets, which is aligned with the Emirates economic strategy.
The committee emphasised the importance of regulating blockchain and virtual asset activities to comply with Anti Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) international and local rules and regulations and to make an ecosystem that is safe, sound, and transparent, which will help build trust and attract more companies to Abu Dhabi.
The committee has been established to improve Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness in the blockchain and virtual asset space, coordinate efforts of entities active in the industry, liaison with regulators, and promote compliance of industry participants with global standards and regulatory requirements, particularly AML/CFT regulations, and support exchange of information and best practices.
To this end, the Abu Dhabi Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee comprises 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 Authorisation at ADGM; Mohammed Kaissi, Director of Strategic Projects at ADQ; Faisal Al Hammadi, Executive Director Incubation at ADQ; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; Dr. Nikolas Meitanis, Advisor at Masdar CEO Office; Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Ventures and Growth at Mubadala; Abdulla Al Shamsi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO); and Dr. Maryam Buti Al Suwaidi, CEO of Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).
Addressing the first meeting, Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa said, “The formation of Abu Dhabi’s Blockchain and Virtual Assets Committee reflects our leadership 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. 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.”