Hex Trust announced that it had gained provisional approval from the Dubai Government to obtain a Virtual Asset MVP License. The company will establish a headquarters in Dubai and actively promote digital asset innovation in the region.
Hex Trust Granted Provisional Approval to Operate in Dubai
Hex Trust, a Hong Kong-based crypto custodian, is the latest crypto firm to get provisional approval from the Dubai government to operate its business in the region.
According to an announcement on June 21, Hex Trust is in the process of securing a Virtual Asset MVP License from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in order to provide a variety of services to institutional clients and sophisticated investors.
VARA, which was established in March of this year, monitors virtual asset regulation through a licensing regime. In addition to regulating, supervising, and implementing KYC/AML standards, the regulator is also responsible for formulating strategic plans and policies relating to digital assets in the region.
In May, it also became the first regulatory body in the world to build a presence in the metaverse in an effort to increase accessibility for stakeholders.
For the uninitiated, Hex Trust is Asia’s leading provider of bank-grade digital asset custody and related services. Hex Trust’s Hex Safe™ platform provides custody, DeFi, brokerage, and financing for financial institutions, digital asset organizations, corporations, and private clients. Now that Hex Trust has provisional approval, the custodian plans to establish a Middle Eastern headquarters in Dubai.
The move comes on the heels of the custodian’s latest and first major fundraising, a $88 million Series B funding round in March, which was used to expand its operations across the Middle East and Europe.
“Hex Trust is excited and fully committed to expanding into the Middle East and sees enormous potential for digital asset growth given the region’s progressive regulations, welcoming governments, and thriving crypto ecosystem,” said Filippo Buzzi, Hex Trust’s regional director (MENA).
Dubai Seeks to Grow as a Virtual Asset Hub
The Middle East is rapidly becoming a virtual asset hub due to massive infrastructure investments and investor-friendly legislation. In all of this, the Dubai government has endeavored to assume a leadership position in the field of digital assets.
Following the enactment of the “Regulation of Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai” by Dubai’s ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in February, crypto firms have continued to rush to the prominent Arab emirate.
The regulation, also known as the Virtual Asset Law, aims to provide precise principles and definitions for digital assets, including NFTs.
Most recently, Bahrain-based crypto exchange Coinmena received a provisional license to begin operations from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), allowing it to continue business operations in Dubai while it completes the comprehensive process of applying for a license in accordance with VARA requirements.
In the past few months, several of the most renowned crypto firms, including FTX, Binance, Crypto.com, Bybit, and Kraken, have obtained relevant licenses and opened regional headquarters in the region.