Abu Dhabi Bourse ADX Eyes Crypto, Blockchain Initiatives

ADX has issued a research paper about the technical and operational criteria related to a possible offering of virtual assets as well as the implementation of distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions.

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has published a “thought paper” on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology with a focus on upgrading its infrastructure for virtual asset issuances, United Arab Emirates (UAE) state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday. The move is part of ADX initiatives to bring fintech solutions to the existing securities market in a bid to offer new services and to widen its client’s base.

ADX’s crypto analysis examined the transition from traditional to new financial instruments. The thought paper researched topics related to the issuing of digital coin assets as well as blockchain technology implementation.

ADX should upgrade its infrastructure with DLT solutions and incorporate clear standards of governance before introducing any crypto offering, Rashed Al Blooshi, the exchange chief executive officer (CEO), explained. Crypto assets can help ADX   offer optimized and innovative services to its clients and to bring new players to the market, the exchange boss added.

“ADX continues its efforts to manage the transition from conventional assets to more encrypted assets, which are witnessing major and rapid development in the region,” Al Blooshi, said as quoted by WAM.

“Financial market infrastructure plays a pivotal role in supporting crypto markets, offering investor protection, preventing market fragmentation, as well as making it possible for financial institutions to provide advanced services in the field of crypto-assets.”

ADX researched crypto and DLT together with the UAE’s Central Securities Depositories, which is the agency with the authority to analyze virtual coins and blockchain with the aim to protect investors and market integrity. The trading venue also cooperated with International Securities Service Association (ISSA), as ADX is a member of the ISSA working group on DLT.

The Abu Dhabi bourse’s paper came nearly a month after the UAE’s securities regulator said that it planned to bring Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) to capital markets in 2019. Last year, ADX became the first stock exchange in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to adopt blockchain in e-voting at the annual general meetings (AGMs) of listed companies.

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