Hong Kong-based institutional cryptocurrency asset custodian Hex Trust has been approved to provide virtual asset custodial services to institutional clients and investors in Dubai.
The firm, which opened its office in Dubai in June 2022, has been awarded a full virtual asset service provider (VASP) license by the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) of Dubai as of Nov. 15.
This follows the company’s initial acquisition of a minimal viable product (MVP) operations license in February 2023. With this latest development, it is now fully authorized to operate within the jurisdiction.
Filippo Buzzi, the Regional Director of MENA for Hex Trust, remarked on the approval, highlighting that it positions the company among an expanding yet select group of cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers fully authorized to operate in Dubai.
Buzzi also emphasized the company’s commitment to expanding in the Middle East, citing the region’s progressive regulations, government support, and a flourishing crypto ecosystem as key drivers for digital asset growth.
France also granted Hex Trust regulatory approval to extend its services to companies within the country in August 2023. The firm maintains a global presence with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Dubai, Italy, and France.
Dubai crypto expansion
Dubai has emerged as a hub for cryptocurrency businesses, thanks to its service-oriented economy and a comprehensive framework for crypto regulations established last year. VARA, the dedicated regulatory body for the sector, has been instrumental in overseeing these developments.
The city’s favorable stance towards digital assets has attracted various large and small crypto companies seeking to establish their operations and obtain local licenses. Notable firms like Crypto.com, Ripple, Binance, Bybit, and OKX have already received VASP licenses from VARA.
Another recent recipient of the full VASP license is Komainu, a joint venture between Nomura, CoinShares, and Ledger, which offers custodial and staking services to institutional clients.
Obtaining a VARA license in Dubai involves a three-step procedure, including provisional approval, an MVP license, and a full market product license.
The UAE’s investor community is increasingly optimistic about cryptocurrencies. A survey by KuCoin revealed that 59% of crypto users in the UAE view digital assets as a long-term investment and a reliable store of value. Additionally, 35% consider cryptocurrencies a means to diversify their investment portfolios.
Alessio Quaglini, co-founder and CEO of Hex Trust, expressed enthusiasm about the opportunities in Dubai, looking forward to scaling the company’s operations in the region:
“There is so much potential in the Emirate of Dubai. We’re excited to continue to scale our business in the region and make a positive contribution to the virtual asset ecosystem.”
Alessio Quaglini, co-founder and CEO of Hex Trust.