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Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has announced regulatory guidelines on digital asset marketing, advertising, and promotions. The guidelines are part of VARA’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phase of operations to introduce a customized licensing regime launched this month.
In a press release, VARA stated that the rules cover all digital asset-related communications by any entity leveraging Dubai-based media sites, search platforms, and online or offline publishing channels that explicitly target customers within the Emirate.
“These regulations specifically address marketing and communications activities, ahead of operationalizing the MVP licensees so that any mass-market information dissemination and consumer solicitation are designed to safeguard community interests,” the press release read.
Majorly the guideline is intended to compel licensed virtual assets service providers (VASPs) and advertising platforms to act responsibly. The guideline states that VASPs and advertising platforms are obligated to ensure factual accuracy of their communication. VASPs should also highlight any promotional intent and not mislead customers with the notion that returns are guaranteed.
Penalties for non-compliance include fining, restricting, suspending, or revoking the license of VASPs, while advertising platforms will face corresponding consequences under Dubai’s marketing regulations laws.
“This marks a next step in global VA ecosystem innovation, targeting safe market adoption, and encouraging credible industry participation to drive sustainability of Virtual Assets as an anchor in the future economy,” the VARA statement added.
UAE brushing up on its digital assets regulatory regime
Established in March 2022, along with passing the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulations Law, VARA became the world’s first independent digital asset regulator. The body is given the mandate of licensing and regulating the virtual asset sector in Dubai and its free trade zone territories.
Since March, VARA has handed licenses to several digital asset firms, including Huobi, Binance, and FTX, among others. The body does not intend to stop in Dubai as it hopes to become the global standard for an easy-to-replicate digital asset regulatory framework.
Meanwhile, digital asset regulations are also picking up steam across the UAE. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Ministry of Economy (MoE), in partnership with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), issued new regulations targeting the reporting of real estate transactions settled with digital assets with the intent of checkmating money-laundering and terrorism financing through both sectors.
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