As per a recent news report Standard Chartered backed institutional cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage firm focused on institutions, is expanding into Abu Dhabi in 2023. Abu Dhabi will be Zodia Markets first presence in the MENA region as it targets growth opportunities.

Zodia went live in July 2022 in the United Kingdom. U.K.-based Zodia Markets is a sister company of Zodia Custody, the digital assets safekeeping platform. Both firms share the same majority shareholder in SC Ventures, the venture arm of Standard Chartered.

At the time of its launch in UK the firm, was granted Financial Conduct Authority approval, with spot trading of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). 

Zodia Markets has drafted an application to operate in Abu Dhabi but plans to submit a new one in early 2023 after extended talks with regulators.

Chief executive Usman Ahmad told Financial News London that Abu Dhabi is attractive because it has been “forward-looking with respect to putting the regulatory framework in place”.

The United Arab Emirates has sought to capitalize on the lack of clear crypto regulations in Europe and the USA. Abu Dhabi adopted a virtual asset regulatory framework in 2018 through ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market), as did Dubai in 2022 with its VARA regulatory authority. 


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