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  • Part VIII – VA Standards

    • A. Requirement to have VA Standards

      1. VASPs shall establish standards for the Virtual Assets it provides VA Activities in relation to [VA Standards].
      2. VASPs shall take all reasonable steps including, but not limited to, conducting relevant due diligence to ensure all Virtual Assets meet its VA Standards prior to, and at all times during, the VASP providing any VA Activities in relation to such Virtual Assets.
      3. VASPs shall disclose their VA Standards on their website.
      4. VA Standards shall, to the extent relevant to the VA Activity, include but not be limited to the following considerations in respect of all Virtual Assets—
        a. its market capitalisation, fully diluted value and liquidity, and whether such metrics have trended downwards over time;
        b. its design, features and use cases, whether or not intended by the Issuer or relevant developers;
        c. whethe

      r there are features which may materially affect a VASP’s compliance with applicable laws, Regulations, Rules or Directives, including but not limited to those relating to AML/CFT, sanctions, securities, intellectual property;

        d. regulatory treatment by VARA and other appropriate authorities [including those outside of the Emirate], in particular whether the issuance of the Virtual Asset has received any regulatory approvals;
        e. whether a Virtual Asset is prohibited by VARA or any other appropriate authorities [both inside or outside the UAE] in jurisdictions in which the VASP will provide VA Activities, or equivalent activities, in relation to such Virtual Asset;
        f. the security and immutability of the underlying DLT protocol;
        g. its future development [e.g. “roadmap”] as communicated by the Issuer and/or relevant developers;
        h. whether it may be susceptible to price manipulation for any reason and relevant mitigations that will be implemented by the VASP;
        i. whether potential or actual conflicts of interest may arise should a VASP provide any VA Activities in relation to the Virtual Asset and relevant mitigations;
        j. the background of its Issuer including, but not limited to, relevant experience in the Virtual Asset sector and whether it has been subject to any investigations or claims in relation to fraud or deceit;
        k. if the Virtual Asset represents rights to any other assets, the enforceability of such rights;
        l. sufficient assets are available to satisfy any obligation with respect to any VA Activities;
        m. VASPs shall ensure that Virtual Asset terms and conditions reflect, to the extent possible, the operation of any existing underlying physical market and avoid adverse impacts to such market [if applicable]; and
        n. VASPs should review Virtual Asset terms and conditions on a periodic basis for appropriate correlation with any physical market to ensure such terms and conditions conform to standards and practices in that physical market [if applicable].
    • B. Implementation and Control

      1. VASPs shall regularly, and on an ongoing basis, assess relevant information to ensure that a Virtual Asset that it provides VA Activities in relation to continues to meet its VA Standards.
      2. VASPs must maintain all records relevant to such assessments for eight [8] years and provide such records for VARA’s inspection upon request.
      3. VASPs shall set conditions under which VA Activities in relation to a Virtual Asset may be suspended, including where a Virtual Asset no longer meets its VA Standards. VASPs shall have and implement all necessary operational procedures and controls in the event such conditions are met.
      4. VASPs shall notify VARA as soon as possible after becoming aware that a Virtual Asset no longer meets its VA Standards and shall take such steps as VARA may direct to minimise any adverse impact on clients arising as a result.
      5. VARA shall have the right to require the suspension of a VA Activity in respect of any Virtual Asset upon reasonable grounds it deems appropriate.