Oman to Regulate Virtual Assets

The Oman Capital Market Authority (CMA) has announced its plans to establish a regulatory framework for the country’s virtual assets market. The regulator believes that the proposed framework will provide an “alternative financing and investment platform for issuers and investors while mitigating the risks associated with this asset class.” Despite warnings from Oman’s central bank against investing in digital assets, approximately 65,000 residents own cryptocurrencies. The CMA aims to create a new regulatory framework for the Sultanate’s virtual asset industry, covering the issuance of crypto assets, tokens, crypto exchange products, and services, among other virtual asset activities. The proposed guidelines will include a framework for identifying and mitigating risks associated with the new asset class, oversight of virtual asset activities, and a licensing procedure for virtual asset service providers. The CMA has hired virtual assets policy and regulatory consultants XReg Consulting Limited and Omani law firm Said Al-Shahry and Partners to help draft the new regulations. The proposed regulatory oversight aims to position Oman as a regional leader in the use of virtual assets. However, the central bank appears cautious when it comes to cryptocurrencies.