- What – The crypto industry in Oman is taking a different turn from what the country’s central bank expects.
- Why – The apex bank had issued several warnings concerning virtual asset investments. But still, many residents now hold crypto assets.
- What Next – This move involves launching a regulatory framework for virtual assets in the Sultanate of Oman.
Due to the increasing interest in the crypto sector in Oman, the financial market regulator is trying to fortify its regulatory stance.
Oman Capital Market Regulator Moves For New Rules
Recently, the Capital Market Authority (CMA), Oman’s financial markets regulator, released a public post about new rules for virtual assets. According to CMA, the rules will ensure oversight of digital assets activities and a licensing procedure for all the country’s virtual asset service providers (VASPs). Also, it will contain the necessary framework for identifying and mitigating risks associated with the new asset class.
Additionally, the regulator stated its determination to establish a new market regime for digital assets in the country. So, the proposed rules will curb market abuse of all sorts. Furthermore, according to the regulator, it will include adequate monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in the rules for crypto asset activities.
Further, CMA’s new proposed regulatory guidelines will cut across some possible digital asset activities. These are the issuance of crypto assets, tokens, initial coin offerings, operations of crypto, exchanges’ products and services, and others. These virtual asset regulatory rules in Oman will sustain the growth of its crypto industry. In addition, the regulations provide clarity and will help to maintain regulatory safety for crypto users.
In drafting the new regulatory framework, CMA joined hands with other firms. These include the digital asset policy and regulatory consultant, XReg Consulting Limited, an Omani law company, Said AlShahry and Partners, Advocates and Legal Consultants (SASLO).
Oman’s Apex Bank Warns About Crypto Investments
The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has been wary regarding crypto asset investments. It has warned citizens to be more cautious with crypto transactions due to the risks associated with virtual assets.
— البنك المركزي العماني (@CentralBank_OM) October 6, 2022
CBO mentioned that it had not licensed any company to trade digital assets in the country. Further, it stated that the banking laws regulating banks don’t cover digital assets and numerous activities around them.
But despite the CBO’s warning, residents and citizens of Oman have shown keen interest in virtual assets. Data from the latest Souq Analyst survey revealed that over 65,000 residents of Oman own digital assets. This value represents about 1.9% of the adult population.
As per the survey, about 62% of crypto ownership of digital assets is for long-term investments, with Bitcoin as the vital digital token. Also, about 23% are daily traders with crypto assets, while 25% use virtual assets for educational and learning purposes. Besides Bitcoin, Omanis also have a deep interest in Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Tether (USDT), and others.
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