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UAE Enforces FATF Travel Rule for Cryptocurrency Firms

New AML Revisions Aim to Increase Transparency

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) in the United Arab Emirates recently updated its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and sanctions rules for digital assets. The revised AML Rulebook enforces the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF)Travel Rule requiring Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs)to share customer information in cryptocurrency transactions.

By mandating compliance with the FATF Travel Rule, authorities aim to increase transparency and traceability across cryptocurrency transactions. This added oversight hinders the misuse of virtual assets for illicit activities that rely on digital currency anonymity.

The rule changes will significantly impact firms subject to the AML Rulebook’s jurisdiction. The updates tackle emerging regulatory challenges in a bid to strengthen compliance in the crypto sector.

Ali Jamal, CEO of Cryptos Consultancy, asserts in a LinkedIn post that the revisions enhance regulatory clarity and align with the UAE’s federal framework to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Jamal also acknowledges the impact on financial firms and stakeholders while praising FSRA’s efforts to maintain a secure financial landscape.

The UAE has increasingly shifted focus from its traditional oil-based economy to technology and finance. The nation has fostered a favorable regulatory environment for digital assets, attracting global business interest in the crypto sector over the past two years. These regulatory advancements in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have drawn talent and investment, establishing the UAE as a growing hub for digital asset activities.

A Statista report predicts a 10.53% annual growth rate for the UAE crypto market between 2023 and 2028, reaching a revenue of US$395.8 million by 2028. The cryptocurrency user base in the UAE is expected to rise to 3.15 million by 2028, with adoption increasing from 23.20% in 2023 to 29.85% in 2028.

A PwC survey ranks the UAE alongside the U.S. and U.K. as a leading nation enacting crypto regulations. The UAE government is noted for its proactive stance on regulating cryptocurrencies, imposing AML laws, enforcing the travel rule, and progressing stablecoin legislation.

The recent AML measures represent the UAE’s commitment to comply with international financial standards. The nation aims to cement its position as a global digital asset hub through coherent and robust crypto regulation.

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