On the launch day of M2 crypto exchange and custodian the exchange which is fully regulated by ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market) is the first to serve retail clients in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi headquartered M2, which is licensed by the FSRA in the ADGM, has been recognized as a fully regulated Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and Custodian and is now able to on-board UAE residents and institutional clients.

M2 will be able to offer best-in-class trading products targeted at both retail and institutional investors in the UAE. The services coming soon will include, virtual Asset Custody where Investors will be able to manage their Virtual Assets in M2’s custodial wallets and offline storage facility, conveniently and securely with the easy-to-use on ramp and off ramp mechanism.

In addition clients will be able to trade AED to BTC & ETH . M2 will shortly be able to offer institutions and retail clients the ability to trade AED with leading cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

AED Fiat On/Off-Ramp: Allow the on/off ramp of AED with ease through its partnership with a local bank.

While other crypto exchanges have received licenses from ADGM none of them have been allowed to cater to retail clients or have they partnered with a UAE Bank.

Designed with regulatory compliance and customers in mind, M2 adheres to strict regulatory requirements set by ADGM in relation to consumer protection, technology governance, custody and all its trade activities such as market surveillance, transparency, settlement, and transaction recording.

The ADGM has been recognized as being one of the most respected regulated jurisdictions of virtual assets globally.  Taking its first steps on the journey to becoming a global FinTech champion for Abu Dhabi, and in line with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, M2.com is live and the team is setting its sights on being a leader in innovation whilst always maintaining regulatory compliance.

Stefan Kimmel, M2, CEO, comments: “We take pride in being a Abu Dhabi headquartered platform, licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). This recognition underscores our commitment to our customers and to the FSRA’s notably high and sophisticated regulatory standards. We look forward to offering crypto investors in the UAE the opportunity to utilize our platform, including the ability to trade on/off-ramp AED and to trade market leading cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH by the end of the year.”

He added: “As positive sentiment returns to the crypto market, we want to offer crypto investors a trusted place to buy, sell and custody crypto assets. Regulation is our routine, and we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to compliance and regulatory excellence.”

Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM said: “We are delighted to welcome M2 to ADGM. We are confident that ADGM’s dynamic ecosystem and progressive regulations will enable M2’s vision, ADGM is the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual assets in the MENA region and M2’s innovative solutions will add to our vibrant and trusted ecosystem of virtual asset trading venues, global exchanges and service providers.”

Notably M2 will be having its launch party today and will be featuring the Mayyas Dance show and superstar singer Guy Manoukian as they reimagine the future of digital assets.

The article was updated at 11:51 am GMT+2 removing ADCB bank reference.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has become the first Islamic bank that went live on the UAE’s KYC (Know Your Customer) Blockchain Platform.

The UAE KYC Blockchain Platform is expected to accelerate the opening of bank accounts for newly registered companies while paving the way for a less cumbersome and costly process of managing KYC data for firms already registered with the system. It will also facilitate a faster, more secure onboarding and exchange of digital customer data and documents; this will be carried out through advanced blockchain-powered distributed technologies.

The initiative was launched in February 2020 by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) with the partnership of four founding member banks; three listed lenders which are Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), in addition to HSBC.

Norbloc Blockchain KYC solution provider implemented the KYC Blockchain platform to facilitate a faster, more secure onboarding and exchange of digital customer data and documents through advanced blockchain-powered distributed technologies, a first of its kind in the region.

Currently, KYC Blockchain Platform has expanded after the joining of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAKEZ), RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC), the listed Mashreq Bank, and WioBank.

Acting Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB, Samih Awadhalla, said: “When ADIB joined the UAE KYC Blockchain Consortium, we did so with the clear goal of developing onboarding operations and providing more secure ways of handling and exchanging data.”

The CEO of Dubai Business License Corporation, Ahmad Khalifa Al Falasi, said: “Through this advanced mechanism, we aim to further improve the ease of doing business, and overall, further enhance and ensure regulatory compliance in the UAE.  As blockchain is a breakthrough technology, we see tremendous potential in streamlining services and operations, saving time, money, and resources for everyone involved – individuals, companies, and government bodies.”

Meanwhile, Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO and Co-Founder of norbloc, said: “The continued expansion of the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform to include key banking institutions, such as ADIB, further strengthens the network which has been live for three years now. ADIB is the third financial institution to join from the emirate of Abu Dhabi, ensuring that norbloc’s Fides platform will continue to provide a significantly better KYC experience for both financial institutions and their clients across the UAE.”

In 2022, the Blockchain KYC Fides Platform built by Norbloc for both Dubai Economy and DIFC will become one platform for entire UAE. At the time Dubai Economy and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority agreed  to consolidate efforts and expand the UAE KYC (Know Your Customer) Blockchain Consortium positioning it as the national corporate e-KYC Platform, making it the first such platform in the region. Previously both entities had launched separate blockchain KYC consortiums both using Norbloc Blockchain platform. DIFC in March of 2020 had launched their initiative with Mashreq Bank, while Dubai Economy had launched with a handful of UAE Banks a month prior to DIFC.  Both DIFC and Dubai Economy had chosen to use the FIDES platform from Blockchain entity Norbloc.

The first phase went live in 2020 and more entities have joined since resulting in the platform holding close to 50 per cent of corporate e-KYC records in UAE.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has become the 10th bank to join Blockchain trade finance platform UAE Trade Connect (UTC), developed by e& enterprise, formerly Etisalat Digital.

As per the news this will support ADIB’s digital transformation strategy while boosting the transparency and security of its services. The bank will utilize the UTC platform for the detection of fraud and dubious transactions in the trade finance segment, according to a press release.

Faisal Abu Shaar, Group Chief Risk Officer at ADIB, said: “With the goal of supporting UAE’s economic development, we will work closely with UTC and other member banks to enhance our digital capabilities and promote the security of the country’s financial sector. We look forward to capitalizing on the opportunities of this agreement to deliver safe and completely transparent banking solutions for our customers.”

Meanwhile Zulqarnain Javaid, CEO of UTC, added “ADIB is an important bank in the corporate banking space and their participation in the platform will further strengthen the network. They join the network at the same time we have crossed the important milestone of AED 60 billion  equivalent to $16 billion value presented to UTC for duplicate inspection and fraud analysis.”

In December 2021, the UAE Blockchain AI enabled  UAE Trade Connect trade finance platform which was built by Etisalat and Blockchain solution provider Avanza Innovations, had processed 10 Billion AED (2.7 billion USD) worth of invoices during the first eight months of its operation. Etisalat Digital  launched UTC trade Finance platform in April of 2021 alongside seven banks within the UAE.

In early 2022,  Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank joined UTC platform as did Dubai Islamic Bank. At that time UTC had in total nine banks on its roster.

The founding banks included First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), RAKBANK, Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai, National Bank of Fujairah, Mashreq Bank, ADIB – Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Commercial Bank International.