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Central Bank of UAE: We do not ban digital currencies

According to the latest information, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has clarified its position with regard to the prohibition of virtual currencies.

The financial institution released "Regulatory Framework for Stored Values and Electronic Payment Systems", which entered into force on January 1, 2017. This document indicates the following:

ʺAll virtual currencies and any related with them transactions are prohibited.ʺ

However, central bank governor Mubarak Al Mansouri said in his recent statement, which had been sent to Gulf News, that the regulation did not apply to digital currencies such as Bitcoin. He said:

ʺThese regulations do not cover 'virtual currency' which is defined as any type of digital unit used as a medium of exchange, unit 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.ʺ

Al-Mansour noted that the regulatory framework was aimed at promoting an effective implementation of digital payments in U.A.E., while ensuring the highest level of consumer protection and financial stability. He added that Central Bank was looking closely at a digital currency sector and it was possible that new laws might be developed in the future.

Central bank governor said:

ʺThis area is currently under review by the Central Bank and new regulations will be issued as appropriateʺ.


  • February 8, 2017 5:58 PM MSK