Aquanow, a digital assets infrastructure provider has unilaterally announced that it has received initial approval from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), while it undertakes the in-depth process of applying for a license in accordance with VARA requirements.

Full approval to operate will be issued by VARA as soon as Aquanow completes all mandated requirements, which the firm is expected to complete in the near-term.

“At Aquanow, we believe that the UAE is a forward-thinking jurisdiction for digital assets regulation and we view Dubai as a key hub for our international growth efforts,” said Aquanow’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Sham. “We’re excited to receive the initial approval from VARA and to be moving closer to powering a range of digital asset use cases in the region.”

Aquanow, which is privately-backed, is one of the largest digital asset liquidity providers and is a global leader serving financial services clients in 40 countries around the world. Aquanow is rapidly expanding in the Middle East, and the UAE is an emerging hub of Web 3.0 innovation with more than 500 crypto companies based in the country.

Established in 2018, Aquanow currently has 90+ team members with offices in Canada, Dubai, and Singapore.

Universal Digital AEDU and Canadian Aquanow have received MVP ( Minimum Viable Product) provisional license approvals for several virtual asset licenses from Dubai’s Virtual asset regulatory authority (VARA). Universal Digital (AEDU) has applied for advisory license, broker dealer services, virtual asset custodial license, crypto exchange license, crypto lending and borrowing license, as well as management and investment service license.

In addition Canadian headquartered, digital asset platform has also received MVP provisional approval for advisory license, broker dealer license, and management investment service license.

Aquanow is a privately funded, infrastructure and liquidity provider that enables institutional and enterprise use-cases for digital assets. The company currently has 200 institutional clients, serving customers in 30 plus countries with 70 asset pairings.

This is another representation of increased interest in the UAE as a center for virtual assets, blockchain and crypto.