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Blockchain and smart contracts-focused firms accepted into Dubai Financial Services Authority’s latest sandbox cohort

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Tue, 08 Jan 2019, 05:40 am UTC

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has accepted seven new firms into its cohort process, which permits companies to apply for an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL).

Launched in May 2017, ITL is a restricted financial services licence which will allow qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms.

According to the official release, the DFSA received applications from firms involved in a range innovative, technology-driven solutions and products including: green financing; the digitisation of bond and sukuk issuances using smart contracts; SME funding platforms; robo-advisors for Islamic finance; and the tokenisation of equities and debt issuances.

“I am particularly pleased by the mix of international and local candidates that have been successful and the wide range of technology solutions and products on offer, including Ethereum and Corda blockchains, artificial intelligence and algorithms and smart contracts development,” Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said.

The latest cohort was launched in November 2018. Following their acceptance into the DFSA’s latest cohort, successful firms are now invited to apply for an ITL. The DFSA expects to grant the first batch of licences in March 2019.

The DFSA said it will continue to offer two open cohorts each year. The next opportunity to apply to participate in a cohort will be in May 2019.

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