The Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) plans to recognize initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a new way for companies to rise capital. The move is expected to be adopted in the first half of next year.
“The board of the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority has approved considering ICOs as securities. As per our plan we should have regulations on the ground in the first half of 2019,” the head of the securities regulator Obaid Saif al-Zaabi said earlier on Mnoday, reports Gulfbusiness.
With Initial Coin Offerings, companies sell crypto coins to investors similarly to the way they sell shares with Initial Public Offerings.
Currently, the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority is working with the stock exchanges in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to develop a trading platform for the planed ICOs, Obaid Saif al-Zaabi also said.
The move is expected to help markets in the Gulf region, which suffered stagnation in past few years because of the low oil prices and the low interest in local stocks.
In September a US judge has accepted a criminal case that treats an initial coin offering (ICO) as a type of security. The ruling is a legal precedent that will help regulate crypto currency offerings the same way shares are regulated under the U.S. Securities laws.