A computer screen displays a site featuring cryptocurrency token sales and ICO (Initial Coin Offering) lists in Berlin on November 26, 2017.
Bypassing oversight of any kind, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have sprung from nowhere to become a hugely popular way for start-ups to raise funds online, offering self-created digital "tokens" or coins to any willing buyer. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL
ADGM considers regulatory framework for virtual currencies. John MacDougall / AFP

Abu Dhabi Global Market mulling virtual currency regulatory framework



The regulatory arm of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, the emirate's financial centre, said it is considering a governing framework to supervise virtual currency exchanges and is in consultations with industry participants to chalk it out.

"The FSRA notes that virtual currencies, although not legal tender, are gaining interests globally as a medium for exchange for goods and services," ADGM said in a statement on Sunday.

"However, there are risks and concerns. Given the anonymous and cross-border nature of virtual currency transactions, they are particularly vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist finance risks, as well as other financial crimes."

The announcement follows preliminary guidance on initial coin and token offerings that the Financial Services Regulatory Authority made in October.

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The FSRA echoed concerns made by the UAE's Securities and Commodities Authority last week. The country's markets regulator issued a warning to investors against using initial coin offerings amid a sharp decline in the value of cryptocurrencies.

The SCA warned investors against any fundraising done through cryptocurrencies, be it ICOs, initial token offerings, token pre-sale or token crowd-sale, it said in a statement on its website.

ICOs are used by companies to raise funds whereby a company sells shares to the public in a fiat currency and lists it on a stock exchange. Many regulators around the world have issued warnings to investors after instances of fraud in the ICO market.

In 2017, some $6 billion was raised in ICOs, according to Cointelegraph, a cryptocurrency news website.

In October, the FRSA set out guidance on ICOs and virtual currencies to allow companies to take advantage of what it says is a more cost-effective way of raising funds. Virtual currencies are treated as a commodity in the guidance laid out by the FSRA.

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Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
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Sector: Microfinance
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Power 110hp) @ 7,750rpm

Torque 116Nm @ 6,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 5.3L / 100km

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Washmen Profile

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Email sent to Uber team from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi

From: Dara

To: Team@

Date: March 25, 2019 at 11:45pm PT

Subj: Accelerating in the Middle East

Five years ago, Uber launched in the Middle East. It was the start of an incredible journey, with millions of riders and drivers finding new ways to move and work in a dynamic region that’s become so important to Uber. Now Pakistan is one of our fastest-growing markets in the world, women are driving with Uber across Saudi Arabia, and we chose Cairo to launch our first Uber Bus product late last year.

Today we are taking the next step in this journey—well, it’s more like a leap, and a big one: in a few minutes, we’ll announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Careem. Importantly, we intend to operate Careem independently, under the leadership of co-founder and current CEO Mudassir Sheikha. I’ve gotten to know both co-founders, Mudassir and Magnus Olsson, and what they have built is truly extraordinary. They are first-class entrepreneurs who share our platform vision and, like us, have launched a wide range of products—from digital payments to food delivery—to serve consumers.

I expect many of you will ask how we arrived at this structure, meaning allowing Careem to maintain an independent brand and operate separately. After careful consideration, we decided that this framework has the advantage of letting us build new products and try new ideas across not one, but two, strong brands, with strong operators within each. Over time, by integrating parts of our networks, we can operate more efficiently, achieve even lower wait times, expand new products like high-capacity vehicles and payments, and quicken the already remarkable pace of innovation in the region.

This acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in various countries, which we don’t expect before Q1 2020. Until then, nothing changes. And since both companies will continue to largely operate separately after the acquisition, very little will change in either teams’ day-to-day operations post-close. Today’s news is a testament to the incredible business our team has worked so hard to build.

It’s a great day for the Middle East, for the region’s thriving tech sector, for Careem, and for Uber.

Uber on,

Dara

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