The Abu Dhabi global market (ADGM), the international financial center of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to launch regulated cryptocurrency trading in the next quarter of this year.
Although ADGM has announced its intention to launch trading in crypto assets as early as 2018, Abu Dhabi regulators have been cautious about implementing permissive regulations for the cryptocurrency sector.
However, the Islamic Bank of Abu Dhabi (ADIB) recently became the first Islamic Bank to carry out trade Finance distribution operations, and now ADGM is preparing to start trading crypto assets in the second quarter of 2020.
ADIB announced itself as the first Islamic institution to successfully perform trade Finance distribution operations using blockchain. ADIB conducted several cross-border transactions with partner banks using TradeAssets, a blockchain-based digital trade Finance market.
“ADIB is committed to expanding its digital presence in trade Finance, increasing business efficiency and productivity in the region and around the world,” said Haytham Elmaayergi, head of banking transactions at ADIB.
Leon Smith, CEO of the DEX cryptocurrency exchange, which received preliminary approval to operate from the Abu Dhabi financial regulator, called ADGM’s decision to start regulated cryptocurrency trading “a groundbreaking step for the region.”
“Everyone who works for ADGM should welcome the efforts to get regulated cryptocurrency trading started,” he said. “This is very important for the transformation of ADGM into a global financial center, as well as for the development of Abu Dhabi as a whole.”
In the UAE, blockchain is being implemented quite actively in many regions. In March, Dubai launched a system for identifying companies on the blockchain, and in early February, the UAE government launched a blockchain-based platform for storing medical data.