Oman’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) is developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASP) in a meaningful move to develop the Sultanate’s digital assets sector.
“By regulating and developing the virtual assets industry, the CMA aims to provide an alternative financing and investment platform for issuers and investors, while mitigating the risks associated with this asset class,” the CMA noted in a statement.
This confirms an earlier IFN Fintech report back in October when we broke the story that the Omani regulator had begun working on regulations for crypto assets.
The CMA now has confirmed that it is in the midst of defining a regulatory framework which will cover all virtual activities including crypto assets and tokens, crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings among others. The regulator is also working on a licensing framework for all VASP categories as well as a supervisory framework to identify, assess and mitigate ongoing risks.
XReg Consulting, an international virtual assets specialist and local legal firm Said Al-Shahry and Partners have been appointed to advise and assist the CMA in designing these policies.
Oman joins its GCC peers in embracing crypto assets at a time when some 50 markets have turned away from the asset class, reflecting the conflicting attitudes toward cryptocurrencies.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been leading forces in the region in adopting virtual assets with their respective regulatory frameworks and initiatives. It is also understood that the Central Bank of Oman is developing a digital currency.
The CMA’s recognition of the importance of virtual assets and move toward digitalization are aligned with the country’s Vision 2040 of a digitally transformed economy and financial sector, while attracting foreign investments into the Sultanate.