Ripple Says Thailand And Abu Dhabi Have the Best Crypto Asset Regulations to Instill Innovation


The second blog in a series of three deemed “The Case for Digital Asset Regulation” is released by Ripple. Written by Sagar Sarbhai who works in Government & Regulatory relations, APAC & Middle East at Ripple, it focuses on FinTech in ASEAN countries.

In the first part, they highlighted why Japan has the most progressive regulations when it comes to cryptos, despite impediments like the Mt Gox hack. In the latest installment, they focus on similar issues, however, this time centering around Abu Dhabi and Thailand.

Thailand’s Ambitions

Thailand has aspirations to be the fintech hub for the ASEAN region. They have built a framework for digital asset regulation that recognizes risk while also encouraging innovation. It determined not to regulate the technology, just how it’s being used.

The government began to fret that people were investing in volatile markets, while the country’s banks could be exposed by fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). This is why the BoT performed its ban initially. But concurrently, Thailand was working to form policies for the digital asset market. Just a few months later in May 2018, these progressive regulations were announced in a royal decree.

The Thai government says that virtual currencies are listed as digital assets, while the country now has a framework for licensing exchanges. The regulations also include protections for consumers as well as for financial organizations like banks, who are now required to form subsidiaries for dealing with ICOs as a buffer against losses.

Abu Dabhi’s ADGM

Even Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM) released a progressive digital market framework, although for different reasons. Rather than in response to market interest, ADGM’s policymakers took a top-down strategy, to make the region a digital asset hub for the Middle East.

Without the need to respond to market risks, ADGM policymakers have taken a careful approach and spent a lot of time learning from the experiences and mistakes of other regulators. The result is the most comprehensive digital asset regulation framework in practice today.

All digital asset activities are subject to high standards but dealt with on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the product and service. When it comes to risk, ADGM goes way beyond simply addressing anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing by tackling technology governance, anonymous currencies and custody management. The regulation also provides guidance to banks and other institutional on leveraging cryptos.

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