Virtually Everything | Episode 7 | Crafting the Future: Inside the Making of Digital Asset Laws in the DIFC

  • Podcast 10 June 2024 10 June 2024
  • Global

  • Technology, Outsourcing & Data

This is the seventh episode of Clyde & Co’s Virtually Everything podcast series. In this episode, hosts Lucy Nash and Vyasna Mahadevey explore the groundbreaking new digital assets laws enacted in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). They are joined by Andrew Spink KC and Justina Stewart from Outer Temple Chambers, who played pivotal roles in advising on and drafting these new laws.

Guests introduction:

  • Andrew Spink KC: A leading commercial silk with extensive experience in fintech, commercial contracts, banking, and financial services.
  • Justina Stewart: A barrister with a background in economics and investment banking, specialising in banking, financial services, and crypto-related fraud and insolvency.

Key topics covered:

1. Involvement with DIFCA:

  • Andrew and Justina discuss their long-standing relationship with the DIFC Authority (DIFCA) and their advisory roles in drafting the new digital assets law and updating the DIFC's law of security.

2. Groundbreaking Aspects of the New Laws:

  • The new digital assets laws address uncertainties in property rights and remedies in digital assets, providing clarity and legal certainty which is essential for further investment and innovation in digital assets.

3. Structure of the Digital Assets Law:

  • The law defines digital assets and sets out how property rights in these assets are established and transferred.
  • The law also includes a new tort for interference with digital assets and updates to numerous existing DIFC laws to incorporate digital assets.

4. Digital Assets as Money:

  • The DIFC law introduces a functional definition of money, ensuring that digital assets performing as money (medium of exchange, store of value, unit of account) are treated as such under the law.

5. Law of Security:

  • The law of security now explicitly covers digital assets, detailing how security interests in these assets are created, enforced, and prioritised.
  • The law draws on global best practices and recent innovations in secured transaction regimes.

6. Handling Insolvency:

  • The new laws provide clear guidelines for distributing digital assets in insolvency cases, addressing issues such as commingled assets and valuation of digital assets in insolvency.

7. New Tort of Interference or Impairment:

  • A unique provision in the digital assets law establishes a new tort specifically for digital assets, addressing intentional or reckless impairment of digital assets.


Andrew and Justina's insights highlight the comprehensive and forward-thinking nature of the new DIFC digital assets laws. 

This episode provides a detailed overview of the innovative legal frameworks now in place in the DIFC, making it a must-listen for anyone interested in the evolving legal landscape of digital assets and financial technology.

Don’t miss the final episode in the first series of the Virtually Everything podcast, where we are re-joined by Will Deeb to provide a knowledge session on some of the key terms associated with virtual assets.

This podcast forms part of the Virtually Everything podcast series. To find out more about the topics discussed in the series, please visit our dedicated Digital Assets and Blockchain page.


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Operating from across the world’s major financial centres, our digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency experts provide a comprehensive and joint-up legal service to clients globally.

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