When the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central Bank issued new regulatory guidelines for digital payments last month, many observers took note of an apparent ban on “virtual currency” usage by companies that were subject to the new regulations. In a new statement, the central bank has now provided new clarity on the subject by announcing that the new rules do not apply to Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashid Khamis Al Mansouri provided Gulf News with a statement that said,
“These regulations do not cover ‘virtual currency’, which is defined as any type of digital unit used as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a form of stored value. In this context, these regulations do not apply to bitcoin or other crypto — currencies, currency exchanges, or underlying technology such as Blockchain.”
Al Mansouri did acknowledge that the Central Bank is in the process of reviewing digital currencies and said, “new regulations will be issued as appropriate." For now, though, the clarification should serve to calm worries that the UAE might suddenly become a less-hospital place for cryptocurrency ventures.