The chief crypto regulator for the Gulf emirate of Dubai recently announced that it was publishing new rules on the marketing, advertising or promotion of cryptocurrencies in the city.
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Founded earlier this year, Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which is one of the globe’s first regulatory authorities for cryptocurrencies, declared that it would monitor all crypto service providers and their advertisers to ensure that they factually promoted crypto and avoided misleading unsuspecting investors or promising unrealistic returns on investments.
“These regulations address marketing and communications activities.. so that any market information dissemination, and consumer solicitation, [is] designed to safeguard community interests,” VARA said.
One of the key concerns of the regulator is how advertisers will discuss crypto; it is particularly focused on whether or not advertisements disclose the company’s promotional intent and maintain factual accuracy to avoid deception in crypto-related advertising.
Dubai has aggressively embraced cryptocurrencies and staked a future on the digital blockchain and metaverse. By 2030, the emirate is trying to become “one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies.” In May, Dubai even became the digital home of the metaverse world known as The Sandbox.
“Dubai views the virtual asset industry as the driver of the global future economy,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority earlier this year.
By 2030, McKinsey estimates the metaverse might be worth $5 trillion, with a quarter of all business executives surveyed saying they expected to integrate the virtual world into their firm’s business. For customers, the most popular use cases of the metaverse appear to be social events, fitness, dating, shopping and education.
In July, Dubai granted approval for FTX to operate a crypto exchange in the emirate, and last December, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance, announced that it was considering Dubai for its potential headquarters — a stunning statement for a company which has famously avoided having a clear geographic jurisdiction.