1) This Guidance is issued under section 15(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Regulations 2015 (“FSMR”). It should be read in conjunction with FSMR, the relevant Rulebooks of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (“FSRA”), the FSRA’s Guidance & Policies Manual, its ‘Guidance – Regulation of Digital Security Offerings and Virtual Assets under the FSMR’ (“ICO Guidance”)1 and its ‘Guidance – Regulation of Digital Securities Activity in ADGM’ (“Digital Securities Guidance”).2
2) This Guidance is applicable to the following Persons:
a) an Applicant for a Financial Services Permission (“FSP”) to carry on a Regulated Activity in relation to Virtual Assets in or from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”);
b) an Authorised Person conducting a Regulated Activity in relation to Virtual Assets;
c) a Recognised Investment Exchange with a stipulation on its Recognition Order permitting it to carry on the Regulated Activity of Operating a Multilateral Trading Facility (in relation to Virtual Assets) within ADGM; or
d) an Applicant/Authorised Person in respect of the use of stablecoins in or from ADGM.3
3) This Guidance sets out the FSRA’s approach to the regulation of the use of Virtual Assets in ADGM, including activities conducted by Multilateral Trading Facilities, Authorised Persons that are Providing Custody (“Virtual Asset Custodians”) and intermediary-type Authorised Persons. This Guidance, together with the applicable ADGM Regulations and FSRA Rules governing the use of Virtual Assets, is collectively referred to as the “Virtual Asset Framework”.
4) This Guidance is not an exhaustive source of the FSRA’s policy on the exercise of its regulatory functions and powers. The FSRA is not bound by the requirements set out in this Guidance and may –
a) impose additional requirements to address any specific risks posed in relation to the use of Virtual Assets;
b) waive or modify any of the Rules relevant to the Virtual Asset Framework, at its discretion, where appropriate.
5) Unless otherwise defined or the context otherwise requires, the terms contained in this Guidance have the same meaning as defined in the FSMR and the FSRA Glossary Rulebook (“GLO”).
6) For the purposes of this Guidance, an Authorised Person permitted to carry on a Regulated Activity in relation to Virtual Assets, or a Recognised Investment Exchange holding a stipulation on its Recognition Order permitting it to operate a Multilateral Trading Facility (in relation to Virtual Assets) (as set out in paragraph 135) is referred to as an Authorised Person.4
7) For more details on the process for authorisation as a Multilateral Trading Facility, please contact the FSRA at MIP@adgm.com
. For more details on the process for authorisation for any other Virtual Asset business activities, please contact the FSRA at firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Refer to the section on stablecoins, starting at paragraph 162.
4 Including in the context of a Recognised Body who has a stipulation for other Regulated Activities set out in its Recognition Order.