On 3 May, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, announced the entry of Dubai’s recently established Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) into the metaverse. This comes through the establishment of its metaverse headquarters (MetaHQ) in “The Sandbox”, making it the world’s first regulator to have a presence in the metaverse.
Established under the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law introduced in early March, VARA serves as a competent authority that oversees virtual asset services by regulating, licensing, and supervising virtual asset service providers as well as the issuance of virtual assets and tokens. Through the provision of VARA’s resources to a borderless audience in the metaverse, Dubai has created a prototype of the decentralized regulator model, engaging global industry thought leaders and regulatory authorities to exchange knowledge, problem-solve, and build a dynamic virtual asset ecosystem to facilitate economic resilience, accelerate social inclusion, and address environmental sustainability. Additionally, VARA’s MetaHQ will serve as the authority’s primary channel to engage global virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to initiate applications, enable younger licensees to enter the metaverse, and openly share knowledge and experiences to raise awareness, enable safe adoption, and drive global interoperability.
It is also noteworthy that VARA’s MetaHQ will be established in “The Sandbox”, an Ethereum blockchain-based virtual platform that allows users to create, build, purchase, and monetize virtual assets. Backed by Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, The Sandbox’s metaverse world was launched in November 2021 after four years of development. Through the symbolic acquisition of the digital land in “The Sandbox”, VARA shows not only its great confidence in the sector’s rapid development but also its commitment to getting a head start in sharing the learning process and industry expertise with regulators across the globe to further facilitate the growth of the sector safely and sustainably.
Access Partnership is closely monitoring developments regarding the entry of Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority into the metaverse. For more information regarding the regulations or engagement in the UAE, please contact Hussein Abul-Enein at email@example.com, or Chen-Che Hsu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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