The United Arab Emirates plans to introduce initial coin offerings (ICOs) next year to provide companies with a fresh way to raise money, the head of the securities regulator said on Monday.

According to Reuters, the new rules, intended for introduction in 2019, would allow firms to raise capital via crypto token sales as an alternative to traditional methods such as IPOs.

Presently, initial public offerings (IPOs) are the traditional methods of fundraising, which is a sale of stocks that work in the same way as an ICO. The only difference between the two is that an ICO involves crypto assets.

Reuters quotes the CEO of the country’s national securities watchdog, Obaid Saif al-Zaabi, as saying that:

“The board of the Emirates Securities & Commodities Authority [ESCA] has approved considering ICOs as securities. As per our plan we should have regulations on the ground in the first half of 2019.”

To achieve this, Zaabi revealed today that the regulator is working with the Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock markets to develop trading platforms for the ICOs.

United Arab Emirates to Approve ICOs as ‘Securities’ in 2019

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