Nexo, a crypto and digital assets fintech platform has received initial approval from Dubai’s regulatory authority VARA. Nexo DTC, its UAE entity will be seeking a license for crypto brokerage, crypto lending, borrowing and investment license.

As per the announcement, “Nexo is enthusiastic about the pursuit of new market strategies aligned with the transformative guidance of Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority,” said Kalin Metodiev, co-founder and managing partner at Nexo.

As per the press release, “This IA positions Nexo as one of the first digital asset lending institutions seeking to expand into the pivotal Dubai market. Once licensed, the solution will be available to Nexo clients through the Nexo platform to offer it in compliance with local regulations, accessible via both mobile and web platforms.”

“From the UAE, the global leader for vision, governance, and innovation, Nexo aims to contribute to the regional ecosystem through pioneering lending, brokerage, management, and investment solutions. Nexo is enthusiastic about the pursuit of new market strategies aligned with the transformative guidance of Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority,” said Kalin Metodiev, CFA, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Nexo.

In March 2023, Nexo Co-Founder and MD Antoni Trenchev announced that the UK entity would be opening its offices in the UAE as it expanded into the MENA region.

He noted at the time, that the MENA region will grow to account for 30 percent of its total global operations. NEXO had noted that it would set up under Dubai’s VARA regulations as well as DIFC.

As per comments made by Trenchev 150 people will be recruited. In the article he states, “We are seeking two lines of regulation,” Trenchev said. “One is for the crypto-related activities which will be at VARA, while DIFC will be for more traditional offerings associated with wealth management.

“There appears to be a political will to create a blockchain fintech financial hub in the region but more specifically Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which is always welcoming,” he said.

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. 

Crypto exchange, MaskEX has unilaterally announced receiving an initial approval from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) to begin making preparations for its launch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It also will be opening its headquarters in Dubai and hiring. 

As per the announcement, the approval represents a major milestone for MaskEX, which has been working tirelessly to expand its presence in the Middle East and bring the benefits of virtual assets to a wider audience.

MaskEX will begin finalizing its entity incorporation, engage banking services, hire more staff in Dubai for its soon-to-be-opened headquarters office, and take the necessary steps to become the first regulated exchange in the UAE.

The services and activities MaskEX has applied for include exchange, lending and borrowing, broker-dealer, and virtual asset management and investment services, with the aim of obtaining VARA’s highly acclaimed FMP license. This license will enable MaskEX to operate in and from Dubai while upholding its commitment to regulatory compliance, customer protection, and innovation. 

“We are extremely proud and grateful to have received initial approval from VARA, which is a testament to our commitment to meeting the highest regulatory standards,” said Eric Yang, CEO of MaskEX. “We believe that our platform will provide users in the UAE with a safe, reliable, and efficient way to access the world of virtual assets, and we look forward to launching as soon as possible, while strictly adhering to the requirements laid out by VARA.”

“The initial approval from VARA is a major milestone for us, and is of great significance not just for the UAE but for the entire MENA region,” said Ben Caselin, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of MaskEX. “We look forward to working closely with the regulatory authorities to ensure that our platform meets all necessary requirements and provides a secure and transparent environment for our users.”