Hex Trust Greenlit for Virtual Asset License in Dubai

The crypto custodian said it will establish a headquarters in Dubai and is committed to fostering digital asset innovation in the region

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Dubai skyline | Source: Shutterstock

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key takeaways

  • Dubai’s government is hoping to attract foreign investment following the passage of its Virtual Asset Law in February
  • Hex Trust is the latest crypto firm to be approved, in part, for licensure within the emirate

Hong Kong-based crypto custodian Hex Trust has become the latest crypto firm to receive provisional approval from the Government of Dubai to conduct business in the region.

Hex Trust said it is in the process of obtaining a Virtual Asset MVP License via the emirate’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to provide a range of services to institutional clients and investors, according to a statement Monday.

VARA, set up in March of this year, oversees virtual asset regulation via a licensing regime. The regulator is also responsible for developing strategic plans and policies relating to digital assets in the region, as well as establishing and overseeing know-your-customer checks and anti-money laundering rules.

It also became the world’s first regulator in May to establish a presence in the metaverse as a means of increasing accessibility to stakeholders.

With provisional approval now in hand, the custodian said it would open an office in Dubai for use as a regional headquarters in the Middle East.

The move follows the custodian’s recent and first significant raise, an $88 million Series B funding round in March, where funds were put toward scaling its operations in the Middle East and Europe.

Crypto firms continue to flock to the major Arab emirate following Dubai’s head, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, passing the “Regulation of Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai” in February.

Better known as the Virtual Asset Law, the regulation sets about providing clear guidelines and definitions regarding digital assets, including NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Several major crypto firms including FTX, Binance, Crypto.com, Bybit and Kraken have recently established regional headquarters or received licenses to operate in the United Arab Emirates.

“Hex Trust is excited and fully committed to expanding into the Middle East and sees enormous potential for digital asset growth given the progressive regulations, welcoming governments and thriving crypto ecosystem in the region,” Filippo Buzzi, Hex Trust’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in the statement.


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