Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Enacts Groundbreaking Digital Assets Law

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has taken a significant step forward in recognizing and regulating digital assets with the enactment of what it calls the “world’s first” digital assets law. This landmark legislation, which amends various existing laws within the DIFC framework, acknowledges the existence of digital assets and provides a comprehensive legal framework for their treatment.

The Digital Assets Law revises laws related to contracts, insolvency, damages, obligations, securities, and personal property to accommodate the unique characteristics of digital assets. It introduces new definitions and classifications for these assets and outlines protocols for their control, transfer, and management by relevant parties.

Jacques Visser, Chief Legal Officer at DIFC Authority, emphasized the pioneering nature of this law, highlighting its role in establishing legal clarity and certainty around digital assets. He noted that the legislation represents a significant milestone in property law by providing a comprehensive framework for the treatment of digital assets.

While Dubai had previously approved a digital assets law in 2022 under the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), the DIFC’s enactment of its own digital assets law demonstrates the region’s commitment to fostering innovation and providing a conducive regulatory environment for emerging technologies. Additionally, initiatives like subsidizing license costs for Web3 and AI companies further underscore DIFC’s efforts to attract and support businesses operating in cutting-edge sectors.

Overall, the enactment of the Digital Assets Law by the DIFC represents a crucial step towards mainstream acceptance and regulation of digital assets in the financial landscape, positioning Dubai as a leader in embracing the future of finance.