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Ras Al Khaimah Emirate UAE May Accept Crypto & Virtual Assets

Ras Al Khaimah’s newly announced free zone for virtual asset firms, the Ras Al Khaimah Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO), is exploring the possibility of accepting crypto payments from companies interested in setting up their businesses in the emirate. Dubai-based crypto lawyer Irina Heaver, who is involved in the development of the hub, explained that once RAK DAO has secured appropriate partners, it will check out crypto payments, including Bitcoin and stablecoins, for corporate registrations, office rent, and other services. Heaver noted that cities and cantons in Switzerland have been accepting crypto payments for years.

However, Heaver emphasized that for the system to work, suitable technology and regulatory infrastructure must be in place, but she clarified that the groundwork has been laid. RAK DAO would also explore operating full Bitcoin and lightning nodes to support the crypto payment initiative. Heaver invited technology partners to join the project.

RAK DAO is a dedicated free zone for digital and virtual asset service providers involved in the metaverse, blockchain, utility tokens, digital wallets, NFTs, DAOs, dApps, and other Web3-related businesses. The free zone aims to foster both regulated and non-regulated activities. Heaver disclosed that RAK DAO is exploring “creating the right legal wrapper for DAOs,” among other things.

The lawyer said that the new free zone would serve the “entire chain of companies in the virtual assets space,” unlike other free zones that can only support certain segments of the industry, allowing limited activities. According to Heaver, Ras Al Khaimah’s free zone would be a great point for startup companies since the living and business costs in the emirate are 50% lower than in Dubai. She added that the government would also help virtual asset service providers (VASPs) with banking requirements through its own entities and relationships.

It’s worth noting that the United Arab Emirates has over 40 free zones, including the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

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