Abu Dhabi financial regulator issues discussion paper on Decentralized Finance ‘DeFi’

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The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has issued a discussion paper on DeFi, which is a new way to deliver financial services through automated software protocols, according to a report by Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Wednesday.

The move aims to engage with industry practitioners and other stakeholders to explore the potential opportunities arising from DeFi, associated risks, and what a future regulatory framework may resemble.

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DeFi protocols currently offer several financial services that are analogous to traditional financial services (TradFi). While DeFi has the potential to improve efficiency in financial services, it remains at this point largely unregulated. As DeFi grows in size and the number of users, a lack of regulation could heighten risks to investors, financial institutions and the financial system.

The FSRA has issued this discussion paper to foster dialogue amongst the DeFi community, including financial institutions, digital asset businesses, and policy makers on how DeFi may be regulated. It sets out the FSRA’s views on the likely medium-term direction of DeFi, high level policy positions that the FSRA is considering adopting, and an exploration of what a DeFi regulatory framework might look like.

As part of an ongoing commitment to engage a wide range of stakeholders, the DeFi discussion paper will also be mapped as a knowledge graph within the FSRA’s digital regulations beta pilot. This will allow market participants to visualise and better grasp the concepts that link DeFi to TradFi and their implications for regulatory guidance.

Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO of the ADGM FSRA, said, “DeFi is an emerging part of the global financial ecosystem that holds the promise of delivering more efficient and tailored financial services. In order to achieve this potential, the risks arising from DeFi must be identified and appropriately addressed. We are pleased to contribute our views on DeFi and its potential future direction to the ongoing discussion in the community, in association with industry practitioners. We also look forward to collaborating and starting a dialogue with the industry that will help us make informed policy choices to address these risks and thereby realise the potential benefits of DeFi and on any future regulatory developments.”

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