Abu Dhabi’s new blockchain and crypto regulatory body | PRO Partner Group

Abu Dhabi’s new blockchain and crypto regulatory body | PRO Partner Group

- Greg Hastings

Abu Dhabi’s New Blockchain and Crypto Regulatory Body announced

As blockchain and crypto transactions continue to gain popularity, with annual transactions estimated to be worth USD25 billion in the UAE, a new challenge is presented: regulation.

In an attempt to streamline transactions in the crypto industry, which is projected to reach USD164 billion by 2029, Abu Dhabi has launched a new association backed by the emirate’s financial free zone Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM).

The Middle East, Africa, and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association (MEAACBA) aims to facilitate the integration of digital assets into the economy through stringent regulations and open discussions among key players.

Having a dedicated team tasked with addressing challenges the industry faces will provide guidance and clarity as crypto and blockchain propel forward as a leading investment avenue.

To fully understand the impact of this new association, having an overview of the virtual asset industry and analysing the associations’ roles will be beneficial.

A Brief Overview of the Virtual Asset Industry

The virtual asset industry was introduced over 10 years ago and has been steadily increasing in consumer demand ever since, growing USD7.18 billion in 2022 alone. The popularity of virtual assets presents a unique opportunity for Abu Dhabi to capitalise on the development and utilise the transactions to benefit the economy.

The forming of the MEAACBA moves the UAE and Abu Dhabi to the forefront of innovation, supporting the strategic implementation of digital transformation.

Using blockchain is considered a safer way to conduct business and carry out transactions since the code used is unique and no physical assets are transferred. The increased security and efficiency of using blockchain have opened discussions on the feasibility of replacing banks and other financial institutions in transactions. The UAE has already taken the initiative to leverage blockchain to support the economy and government operations.

The recent announcement of the Crypto and Blockchain Association isn’t the first step in utilising this transformative technology for the UAE. In fact, the Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 and the Global Blockchain Council preceded the formation of this new Association.

With the Emirates positioning itself at the forefront of this emerging industry, they are gaining access to industry leaders, such as Binance’s senior executive officer, Dominic Longman, and senior vice president of BitOasis, Samir Satchu. Developing these strategic partnerships allows the UAE to emerge as the financial centre for crypto and blockchain.

Understanding the Association’s Roles

The MEAACBA will take on a few different roles, from addressing industry challenges to facilitating the continued growth of digital assets. The announcement of the Association couldn’t have come at a better time with the industry going through a “crypto winter,” which is the cooldown of the market. Bitcoin dropped below the USD20,000 psychological level in June, subsequently wiping out USD2 trillion of the market cap.

The Association runs as a non-profit organisation with the following main objectives:

• Educating individuals and businesses on crypto and blockchain

• Facilitating crypto and blockchain growth throughout the region

• Identifying and overcoming common challenges and issues that crypto and blockchain businesses face

• Offering a mechanism to communicate with government agencies, banks, tax authorities, legal bodies, and regulators on various issues

• Clearing confusion to allow for mainstream adoption

• Understanding the long-term sustainability of the cryptocurrency sector

As the Association begins running operations, its main objectives and roles will slightly alter. Nevertheless, the MEAACBA’s strategic goals are to improve the crypto and blockchain industries, benefiting both businesses and consumers.

Despite what many investors and businesses might think, the Association is not a regulatory body. Instead, it promotes innovation, transparency, and education for those interested in crypto and blockchain. This creates a direct benefit to investors and businesses interested in the market.

Businesses in the blockchain and crypto sectors benefit from clarity into the rules and regulations they must follow. From direct communication with the UAE to offering input on proposed legislation, having a say in the way your business is regulated remains important.

As virtual asset industry compliance and adoption grows, Investors will benefit greatly from the implementation of MEAACBA. Previously, individuals and businesses utilising blockchain for transactions were few and far between. However, with an association tasked with supporting widespread adoption, investors will have more opportunities to leverage their investments and engage in safer transactions.


The announcement of the Middle Eastern, Africa, and Asia Crypto and Blockchain Association is another step in the UAE’s widespread adoption of crypto and blockchain, and growth as a leading jurisdiction in the virtual asset space. Other countries such as the UK and US have taken a keen interest in the announcement of this association by the UAE and will be following its progress closely.

The regulation of the industry and the protection it provides to consumers and investors remains an underlying goal of the MEAACBA. The creation of this association is a step towards embracing digital transformation. Only time will tell how profound the impact of the MEAACBA will be on the UAE and the world.

How can PRO Partner Group help?

PRO Partner Group have an experienced team with unrivalled knowledge of business practices and legislative requirements in the UAE. We can advise you on how the announcement of Abu Dhabi’s new blockchain and crypto regulatory body will impact the virtual asset industry in the UAE and affect your business or how you can leverage the potential of virtual assets for your business whilst remaining fully compliant with all laws and regulations.

If you need guidance on this or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or Saudi Arabia then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at info@propartnergroup.com or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

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