CMA plans to set up virtual assets regulatory framework

Business Tuesday 14/February/2023 15:53 PM
By: Times News Service
CMA plans to set up virtual assets regulatory framework

Muscat: The Capital Market Authority (CMA), which regulates and develops the Sultanate's financial markets for the capital market and insurance sectors, has announced its plans to establish the new proposed regulatory framework for Virtual Assets(VA) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP).

This move highlights the Sultanate’s growing recognition and the CMA's proactive approach to developing the digital assets and fintech industry in Oman.

This important initiative in Oman was announced during a public stakeholders engagement session held at the CMA recently and is being led by the CMA. 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 is in the process of defining a comprehensive and facilitative regulatory framework, which will include a new regulation to cover all virtual assets activities, a licensing framework for all VASP categories and a supervisory framework to identify, assess, and mitigate ongoing risks. This new regulation aims to establish a market regime for virtual assets that include rules to prevent market abuse, including through surveillance and enforcement mechanisms.

The proposed new regulatory framework is envisaged to cover activities such as crypto assets, tokens, crypto exchanges, and initial coin offerings, among others. The regulation for virtual assets in Oman is important, as it will provide a clear and secure framework for the growth of the virtual assets industry.

The move towards digitalization and the adoption of virtual assets align with the Sultanate's Vision 2040 of a digitally transformed economy and financial sector while attracting foreign investments into Oman.

The CMA has also appointed XReg Consulting Limited, an international policy and regulatory consultancy specialising in virtual assets, and Said Al-Shahry and Partners, Advocates & Legal Consultants (SASLO), an Omani law firm, to advise and assist the CMA. This collaboration brings together expertise in policy, law and technology to assist in the creation of a comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets in Oman.

Oman's foray into the world of virtual assets positions it as one of the leaders among its regional peers. With this important initiative to regulate and develop virtual assets, the CMA continues to play a crucial role in the development of Oman's financial sector.