Hex Trust Group, a provider of digital asset solutions for institutional finance, protocols, foundations, and the Web3 ecosystem, has secured its fully operational Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license, for crypto brokerage, management, investment and crypto staking from the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai. This second license extends to its VA Broker-Dealer and VA Management and Investment arm, HT Markets MENA FZE. VARA had announced on its website previously that Hext Trust had received this license but it was pending full fulfillment of all requirements.

Hex Trust received its first VASP license back in November 2023, allowing it to provide virtual asset (crypto) custodial services to institutional clients and sophisticated investors.

With this second license Hex Trust will be able to offer comprehensive Virtual Asset services covering Broker-Dealer and Management and Investment Services, which includes regulated Staking Services.

When asked by Lara on the Block, why Hex Trust has chosen the UAE and Dubai to be licensed, Filippo Buzzi, Regional Director for MENA noted, “Hex Trust operates within jurisdictions known for their robust investor protections and progressive regulatory environments, spanning across Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Italy, and France. In the UAE and Dubai, Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) benefit from an environment characterized by supportive regulations, strategic positioning, tax advantages, an investor-friendly atmosphere, and advanced technology. As the crypto industry continues to develop, the UAE’s proactive stance towards growth positions it as an attractive destination for crypto businesses, offering significant opportunities in this rapidly evolving sector.”

As per the press release, Hex Trust Markets offers safe access to the DeFi ecosystem, where clients can generate yield with native on-chain staking solutions and execute trades with the support of Hex Trust’s dedicated Markets team. Key offerings include:

  • A global trading team with dedicated client support providing 24/7 trading coverage.
  • OTC trading solutions across the full spectrum of Virtual Assets, including tailored sales / purchase programs to optimize across Price, Time Horizon and Market Impact, employing proprietary execution algorithms to support bespoke execution strategies.
  • Deep liquidity and broad access within the Virtual Asset Markets.
  • Risk Management solutions catering to corporate treasury risk management requirements.
  • Fiat Solutions facilitating on-ramp / off-ramp services.

Filippo Buzzi adds, “The approval of this additional VASP license demonstrates Hex Trust’s commitment to fostering crypto ecosystem innovation and enabling safe market access in the Middle East. We are fully committed to expanding into the region and see enormous potential for digital asset growth given the progressive regulations, welcoming governments, and thriving crypto ecosystem.”

Speaking to Lara on the Block on the growth of crypto assets market in MENA, Buzzi stated, “UAE, GCC, and the broader MENA region represents a promising market for Hex Trust, largely due to a growing ecosystem supported by a clear regulatory framework and a forward-thinking approach to digital finance. Dubai, in particular, has established itself as a global blockchain hub, supporting the growth of the crypto assets industry. VARA, the first independent regulator for virtual assets, played a key role to position Dubai as a regional and international hub for Virtual Assets.”

“Hex Trust’s commitment to compliance and regulation has always been a priority, and this has earned us a reputable standing as a reliable partner for both crypto-native and traditional finance institutions. There is so much potential in the Emirate of Dubai and the issuance of the VASP license for Hex Trust Markets demonstrates the evolution of our digital asset service provision to meet the demands of our clients and the market.” – Alessio Quaglini, Co-Founder and CEO of Hex Trust.

So far VARA has licensed 12 crypto broker VASPs, and only one VASP which offers custody services and that is Hex Trust. Noteworthy that only Komainu offers custodial staking services.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) the regulatory arm of DIFC ( Dubai International Financial Center) has amended its crypto token regime. These changes stem from the proposals outlined in Consultation Paper 153 – Updates to the Crypto Token regime published in January 2024.

According to the press release, this marks a significant step in refining and advancing the regulatory environment for Crypto Tokens in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Amendments are related to the following areas, funds, custody, recognition of crypto tokens and financial crime

In terms of funds DFSRA now allows the offering of units of external and foreign funds investing in recognized crypto tokens, as well as the ability for domestic qualified investor funds to invest in unrecognized crypto tokens. Minimum individual investment in fund is $50,000. The Fund’s investment in Crypto Tokens is limited to Recognized Crypto Tokens and does not exceed 20% of the gross asset value of the Fund.

Firms can offer custodial and staking services as per the amendment but they cannot offer lending services. Cited in the document, ” An Authorized Firm must not offer or provide any facility or service that allows a Client to lend a Crypto Token to the Authorized Firm or to another person unless it is reasonably satisfied that:. (2) The restriction in (1) does not apply to: (a) an Authorized Firm that is authorized to Provide Custody, if: (i) the Crypto Token is not a Prohibited Token; (ii) the Authorized Firm is reasonably satisfied that: (a)(A) the Client is a Professional Client or Market Counterparty; and (b)(B) the lending is solely for the purpose of staking.; and (iii) the requirements in (3) have been met”

An Authorized Firm must be able to demonstrate to the DFSA’s satisfaction the grounds upon which the Authorized Firm considers the Third Party Agent or a non DIFC custodian to be suitable to hold Safe Custody Investments or Safe Custody Crypto Tokens.

In addition DFSA has replaced its previous Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing and Sanctions Module (AML) – (AML/VER25/05-24) is repealed and has been replaced by Appendix 1 to this instrument and may be identified by the following reference – (AML/VER26/06-24). VASPs will have to comply with Federal Cabinet Resolution No. 10 of 2019 requirements under Federal AML legislation to Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), in addition to Financial Institutions and DNFBPs. The DFSA’s AML regime applies in addition to the Federal AML legislation.

In terms of NFTs and utility tokens, the DFSA has excluded a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) and a Utility Token from its Crypto Token definition where such a Token meets specified criteria. However The DFSA has prescribed in AML Rule 3.2.1 that a person who carries on the business or profession of issuing or providing services related to a NFT or Utility Token is a DNFBP. An exclusion applies, in the case of an issuer, if the value of each NFT or Utility Token issued is less than $15,000 and, in the case of a service provider, if the service is IT support or advice to an issuer.

VASPs will have to adhere to AML requirements of the government of the U.A.E. or any government departments in the U.A.E.; the Central Bank of the U.A.E.; the FIU; the National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism And Financing of Illegal Organizations Committee (NAMLCFTC); FATF; U.A.E. enforcement agencies; and the DFSA.

DFSA also recognized stablecoins which it called Fiat crypto tokens. DFSA does not consider privacy tokens or algorithmic tokens as recognized.

As noted, ” if Fiat Crypto Token, all of the requirements are met in respect of that Fiat Crypto Token including the matters referred to the regulatory status of the Crypto Token in other jurisdictions, including whether it has been assessed or approved for use by a Regulator in another Recognized Jurisdiction; whether there is adequate transparency relating to the Crypto Token, including sufficient detail about its purpose, protocols, consensus mechanism, governance arrangements, founders, key persons, miners and significant holders; the size, liquidity and volatility of the market for the Crypto Token globally; the adequacy and suitability of the technology used in connection with the Crypto Token and whether risks associated with the Crypto Token are adequately mitigated, including risks relating to governance, legal and regulatory issues, cybersecurity, money laundering, market abuse and other financial crime.

These changes are based on recent market developments, recommendations from international standard-setters and the DFSA’s supervisory experience.

Over the past two years, the DFSA has engaged with over 100 firms looking to be licensed, gaining valuable insights into the market dynamics and regulatory needs.

Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “Our objective with the Crypto Token regime is to foster innovation in a responsible and transparent manner while ensuring we meet our regulatory objectives. At the DFSA, we have taken a balanced approach in the development of this regime and remain committed to evolving it in line with global best practices and standards.”

Noteworthy is that the amendments did not cover insurance which was mentioned in January in the consultation paper.

Uniramp a fiat-to-crypto aggregator, has been selected by TDeFi accelerator program, a premier Web3 incubator and accelerator in collaboration with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Elysium Chain, marking Uniramp’s strategic entry into the Middle East market.

The TDeFi accelerator program is renowned for supporting innovative Web3 startups and providing them with the resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities needed to scale. Being part of this program will enable Uniramp to leverage the extensive network and expertise of DMCC and Elysium Chain, further enhancing its growth and impact in the region.

Uniramp’s entry into the Middle East represents a significant milestone in its mission to simplify Web3 access and fiat-crypto conversions. The region’s forward-thinking approach to blockchain technology and rapidly growing market make it an ideal environment for Uniramp’s innovative solutions.

“We are incredibly excited to join the TDeFi accelerator program and begin our journey in the Middle East,” said Salman Aljohar, CEO, Uniramp. “This opportunity allows us to tap into a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and collaboration, aligning perfectly with our vision to make Web3 accessible to all.”

Through its participation in the accelerator, Uniramp aims to forge meaningful connections with key stakeholders in the Middle East’s crypto and blockchain sectors. These collaborations are expected to enhance the liquidity and accessibility of crypto assets, providing users with a seamless and user-friendly experience.

“We believe that collaboration is at the heart of growth in the blockchain industry,” Salman Aljohar continued. “By engaging with the local ecosystem, we look forward to bringing more value to our users and contributing to the region’s blockchain advancements.”

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an MOU with SmartCrowd Holding Ltd, the parent company of SmartCrowd Ltd., licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), a digital platform specializing in real estate investment and crowdfunding across the Middle East and North Africa.

The MoU aims to develop a Blockchain NFT ( non-fungible token) digital platform, to attract investments for real estate and public facilities that RTA plans to establish and implement in the Emirate of Dubai in the future, such as rest areas, which include retail stores and various service centers with continuous investment returns.

The official signing event was held at RTA’s Head Office, with Ahmed Hashim Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency, representing RTA, and Siddiq Farid, Founder and CEO of SmartCrowd.

Bahrozyan commended SmartCrowd for spearheading evolution in real estate investing by leveraging regulations and smart applications of the latest technologies, such as blockchain. This MoU was signed on the back of SmartCrowd’s efforts to pilot a blockchain-based platform in Pakistan in 2022, aligning with RTA’s commitment to adopt trending technologies across its applications and services.

“The signing of this MoU is a significant step that marks RTA’s entry into the realm of investment in digital and non-fungible assets for public facilities and real estate. The move is expected to open new opportunities for RTA to increase and diversify its revenues and enable a wider segment of the community to enter in these investments, which do not require large capital,” Bahrozyan said.

“This initiative forms an integral part of RTA’s partnership with the private sector and is poised to enhance Dubai’s profile as a regional economic powerhouse in the landscape of a global economy. It will also develop RTA’s ambition to achieve financial sustainability as a key strategic goal and foster partnerships with the private sector, known for its innovative and creative potential, especially in the digital economy.”

Siddiq Farid, Founder and CEO of SmartCrowd stated, “This partnership validates our futuristic thinking as we keep up with fast-evolving technology. SmartCrowd has consistently been at the forefront of innovation, establishing the region’s first digital real estate platform from both regulatory and technological standpoints. Looking ahead, we are strategically leveraging emerging technologies to take our initiatives to the next level.

“We feel blessed to be in a country where innovation is not only fostered but championed. Partnering with a government entity that shares the same vision is especially exciting, as it allows us to deliver unique opportunities for everyone to be a part of this city’s tremendous growth.”

RTA is not the first governmental transportation entity to utilize blockchain, Oman Transport Ministry is also piloting a blockchain solution.

DWF Labs, a proprietary high frequency trading firm with offices in UAE, China, Singapore, and Hongkong as well as Binance the biggest crypto exchange globally have vehemently denied all accusations made in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal that there was market manipulation and an ensuing cover up.

The WSJ article discussed accusations that DWF Labs had carried out market manipulation allegedly discovered by a now ex-employee of Binance.

As per the article the fired employee, along with his team, was tasked with identifying and investigating suspicious trading activities. They reported that certain “VIP” clients, including those trading over $100 million per month, were engaged in prohibited practices such as pump-and-dump schemes and wash trading.

Wash trading is a type of market manipulation that can artificially inflate prices and lead investors to believe there is greater market liquidity than there actually is. Widespread crypto wash trading profoundly distorts markets, erodes investor trust, and skews financial market indices

The unnamed former Binance insider claimed that the exchange’s investigators identified $300 million worth of wash trading by DWF Labs in 2023, involving cryptocurrencies including the Yield Guild Game (YGG) token.

Binance concluded that the evidence of market abuse by DWF Labs was insufficient. As per WSJ article shortly after the report was submitted, the head of the surveillance team was dismissed.

The allegations against DWF Labs first surfaced in September 2023 after unusual on-chain activity was noted by the cryptocurrency community. Wintermute, another algorithmic trading firm, accused DWF Labs of misrepresenting their market activities. Yoann Turpin, co-founder of Wintermute, criticized DWF Labs during an interview at Token2049, arguing that they mislabel what are essentially over-the-counter trades as investments

In reply to these accusations both Binance and Dubai based DWF Labs have come out with statements denying these charges and defending their practices.

In a blog post on DWF Labs website, the firm noted, “DWF is a proprietary high-frequency trading firm founded in 2018 by a collective of academically distinguished researchers and professional quantitative traders from a top proprietary trading firm. Our organisation has deep expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced statistical methods, all of which we harness to execute high-frequency trading strategies across a vast array of digital asset products, including spot, perpetual contracts, and options markets. Our trading activities span over 60 centralised and decentralised venues, making DWF a prominent player in the financial technology landscape.”

The blog adds,” From day one, our goal has been to always uphold the highest standards of transparency, trust, and integrity.”

DWF Labs is trusted by over 700 companies, platforms, and institutions. The company states that it provides liquidity to markets for more than a quarter of the 100 largest crypto-native projects and our reach spans across the entire crypto ecosystem. They note that they are committed to supporting bold entrepreneurs by providing liquidity, contributing to Total Value Locked (TVL), operating validator nodes, and making venture investments.

DWF Labs cooperated with DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities centre) to support crypto startups and was named most active lead investor in 2023. It is also Bybit’s top liquidity provider according to their statements.

DWF Labs claims in its blog post that it has supported the integration to institutional wallets: TON <> Fireblocks , Conflux <> Fordefi, as well as Hackathons: TON, Viction, Conflux (U-Hack), Bybit x DMCC x DWF Labs including ecosystem funds and grants: Airdao, ZigCHAIN, TON, Theta, Algorand, Flare, EOS, Floki, API3, Kava, Gala Chain, Klaytn.

In a strong worded sentence, DWF Labs stated, “Establishments and fake media will not root the movement that Bitcoin started in 2009. We are in crypto for the very reasons why the establishments want to get rid of us.”

On another front Binance also faced the allegations with their own statement saying “Binance emphatically rejects any assertion that its market surveillance program has permitted market manipulation on our platform. We have a robust market surveillance framework that identifies and takes action against market abuse. Any users that breach our terms of use are off-boarded; we do not tolerate market abuse.”

Binance notes that over the last three years its team has offboarded nearly 355,000 users with transaction volumes of more than $2.5 trillion for violating their terms of use.

The crypto exchange added, “We have 190 million users. They can rest assured we do not favour any individual user, no matter how big, over the safety of the platform.  That said, these are not decisions we take lightly. We do deep investigations, using multiple tools, and only offboard clients when there is sufficient evidence, they have violated our terms of use. A recent independent investigation from Inca Digital into Binance’s market surveillance practices validates the effectiveness of our approach, finding “minimal signs of anomalous trading activities.”

Whether these allegations are part of a wider 21st century witch hunt or whether these are true representation of reality, what is for sure is that the crypto ecosystem as it grows is coming under increased pressure from the establishment!

Emirates NBD the creator of Liv, UAE’s first digital bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ctrl Alt, B2B alternative asset solutions provider, to explore infrastructure solutions related to tokenization of real-world assets. The MoU was signed at the Dubai FinTech Summit by Marwan Hadi, Group Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD and Matt Ong, Founder and CEO, Ctrl Alt.

As per the press release,digital Assets represent a trillion-dollar asset class and the opportunities for future innovation and market opportunities within it are considerable. Liv is enthusiastic about championing the next generation of investors and is collaborating with Ctrl Alt to ensure they remain at the forefront in offering diversified and sought-after products. With the support of Ctrl Alt’s infrastructure, Liv aims to explore avenues to grant their customers access to the burgeoning tokenized asset sector.

Several surveys have indicated changing investment patterns amongst millennials and Gen Z. A report on Middle East Investment Trends by Lombard Odier indicated that younger investors hold strong, positive long-term investment convictions. Additionally, 60% also expressed a strong preference for private market assets, including private equity, private debt, real estate and infrastructure. Further, Gen Z are investing at a higher rate and earlier age than previous generations. According to an Oliver Wyman Forum survey, almost half of Gen Zers invest in the stock market and they are 45% more likely to start investing by age 21 than millennials and two to four times more likely than Gen X and baby boomers.

Marwan Hadi, Group Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD, said: “Liv is the first bank in the UAE to explore offering tokenised real-world asset investing opportunities to customers, and we are delighted to co-partner with a leading infrastructure provider such as Ctrl Alt for this initiative. As the innovation incubator in Emirates NBD Group, Liv has always remained at the forefront of digital innovation, seeking to collaborate with partners to explore and experiment with technologies that are in demand globally and in the UAE.”

He added: “According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, asset tokenization will expand into a USD16.1 trillion business opportunity by 2030. Coupled with the growing demand for alternative investment avenues from millennials and the next generation of investors, this represents an opportunity for us to explore the potential of this domain, aligning with our vision to be the most innovative bank for our customers, people and communities.”

Pedro Sousa Cardoso, Chief Digital Officer, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Emirates NBD, said, “Tokenization is considered the future of financial markets, offering benefits such as lower costs and reduced settlement times. As pioneers in technology adoption in the region, we are actively exploring the tokenization space to maintain our competitive edge against more agile fintech companies. Our exploration of solutions related to tokenized real-world assets further builds on Liv’s aspiration to serve our Gen Now customers by providing a range of innovative and in-demand products to meet their financial needs.”

Matt Ong, Founder and CEO, Ctrl Alt, added, “At Ctrl Alt, we are passionate about providing accessible infrastructure solutions to the thriving tokenized asset sector from Digital SPVs to Fund Structuring.

We are really excited to be partnering with Liv who are paving the way for tokenized real-world asset investing. Liv truly represents the future of banking with its clear customer-centric focus on innovation and is waving the flag for the next generation of investors who are demanding diversification. We are excited about the opportunity that this partnership will bring to their customers and cannot wait for what is to come.”

WadzPay, a fintech blockchain based technology for virtual asset payment solutions, has announced its entrance into the Stablecoin business. According to the press release, this will shift Wadzpay’s strategy from one of being a virtual asset payments company to a blockchain financial services solutions provider. The new solutions will be organized as a new business and new brand. To ensure regulatory compliance, WadzPay will set up a new entity and will pursue approvals in UAE, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

WadzPay recently was granted a license for crypto brokerage by Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority, pending finalizing some requirements.

The decision to venture into the Stablecoin market comes as a response to the increasing demand for secure, transparent, and efficient digital payment solutions worldwide. WadzPay will introduce two main products: Stable Coin as a Service and its own regulated USD$ Stablecoin, designed for local and international payments, cross border remittances, and settlements of on-chain transactions related to RWA.

According to recent market research by Bernstein, the global market for stablecoins is projected to grow from $125 billion to almost $3 trillion in next 5 years. This growth is fueled by factors such as the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, cross-border remittances, and the need for stable digital assets to mitigate volatility risks in cryptocurrency markets.

By leveraging blockchain technology, WadzPay aims to provide users with a reliable alternative to traditional fiat currencies, offering stability, convenience, and speed at lower cost in transactions for merchants, businesses and individuals worldwide. With a focus on compliance and regulations, WadzPay is poised to address the growing demand for stablecoins while ensuring security and regulatory compliance in its operations. Apart from the traditional use cases, WadzPay will add some new and innovative uses of stablecoins to the mix.

With this strategic move, WadzPay aims to innovate in solving foreign exchange problems and will introduce an innovative first-in-market business model, setting itself apart from competitors. WadzPay will build a world class team under the new leadership to drive this business.

Founder & Group CEO of WadzPay, Mr. Anish Jain, emphasized the strategic significance of this expansion, stating, “Our entry into the stablecoin business reflects our dedication to meeting the evolving needs of our customers and staying at the forefront of technological innovation. With the growing adoption of virtual assets, particularly stablecoins, we see tremendous potential for growth and are excited to offer our expertise in this space, while remaining committed to compliance and regulations.”

Leading the initiative is Mr. Jason Sarria-Solis as the President – Emerging & New Business in charge of the stablecoin business. With over 20 years of experience in the technology and fintech industry, Mr. Jason brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of driving business growth and innovation. He has led multiple projects spanning from founding and scaling a successful telecom startup in the UK to leading digital banking, embedded finance, and blockchain projects in Asia.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Jason Sarria-Solis expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I am thrilled to join WadzPay at such a pivotal moment in the company’s journey. The stablecoin market presents immense opportunities for disruption and advancement in the payments, remittance, and on-chain settlement space, and I look forward to leading our team in delivering innovative solutions that meet the needs of our users and drive the company’s growth.”

WadzPay remains committed to its mission of revolutionizing the virtual asset financial services landscape with blockchain technology, and the expansion into the stablecoin business marks a significant milestone in this journey. With a focus on technological excellence, customer satisfaction, and strategic partnerships, the company is poised to emerge as a key player in the financial services ecosystem.

Nucleus AI (https://besocial.ai), offering advanced artificial intelligence solutions, has partnered with the Dubai Blockchain Center (https://blockchaincenter.ae) to revolutionize how blockchain and crypto companies establish operations in Dubai by streamlining the regulatory processes.

“We are at the cusp of a transformative era where blockchain and artificial intelligence converge to create unprecedented opportunities,” said Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center. “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in harnessing the synergies of these revolutionary technologies to foster an ecosystem that empowers businesses and drives innovation within Area 2071, Dubai, the UAE and beyond.”

At the core of this initiative lies Nucleus AI’s advanced AI platform, which enables enterprises, SMEs, and government entities to transform their existing knowledge bases into intelligent systems capable of understanding and acting upon complex data relationships.

“Our platform allows enterprises to deploy sophisticated AI-driven processes that operate across multiple tiers, drastically improving efficiency and effectiveness,” stated Raakin Iqbal, CEO and Co-founder of Nucleus AI. “We’re fundamentally enhancing how organizations manage and utilize their knowledge assets.”

“Our Pre-AGI technology doesn’t just automate – it innovates, making each regulatory interaction smarter and more effective,” Iqbal explained. “We’re pushing the boundaries of what AI can achieve in streamlining operational landscapes.”

The partnership will enable an AI-driven proof-of-concept that guides blockchain and crypto companies through the entire regulatory journey – from initial inquiry to final licensing – with unprecedented efficiency. Key capabilities include:

– Intelligent Reasoning: Applying complex logic to understand nuanced regulations and processes.

– Dynamic Knowledge Bases: Continuously updated to ensure adherence to the latest policies.

– Autonomous Action Models: Leveraging datasets and reasoning to autonomously navigate processes while ensuring compliance.

– Multilingual Support: Facilitating global adoption with AI-powered support across 25+ languages.

At the core of this initiative is an AI-powered interface that combines conversational AI with action-driven modeling to shepherd companies through every step, from initial inquiry to final licensing. “Nucleus AI’s platform ingests complex knowledge bases and autonomously executes actions based on logical inferencing – making it ideal for streamlining this intricate regulatory journey,” stated Kiran Ali, Co-founder.

“Our partnership with the Dubai Blockchain Center showcases how advanced AI can revolutionize regulatory frameworks through reasoning and autonomous execution,” Iqbal said. “We’re developing systems that deeply understand operational nuances to radically simplify business establishment.”

The Dubai Blockchain Center’s visionary leadership echoes this innovative spirit: “In our pursuit to position Dubai as a beacon for the blockchain sector, we aim to create an environment conducive to growth,” Dr. Alzarouni stated. “Our initiatives make it seamless for blockchain and crypto companies to operate here, fostering an ecosystem where innovation thrives.”

Dyna.Ai, an artificial intelligence technology service company headquartered in Singapore, has joined the Dubai FinTech Summit, organised by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global Financial Centre in the MEASA region, as a Powered By sponsor.

Dyna.Ai focuses on leveraging cutting-edge AI techniques to foster business digitalisation and ‘intelligentisation’. The company serves a wide range of institutions including traditional banks, digital banks, FinTech companies, insurance firms, and various other types of organisations. Dyna.Ai will be making its global debut at the Dubai FinTech Summit, and showcasing its innovative AI solutions, especially those designed for the Arabian market.

Tomas Skoumal, Chairman and Co-President of Dyna.Ai, said, “Dyna.Ai is thrilled to be part of the Dubai FinTech Summit, a platform that embodies the fusion of innovation and finance. As an artificial intelligence technology service company, we are committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing, customer acquisition, decision making, and risk management for businesses worldwide. With our presence extending across pivotal regions including the Middle East and beyond, we are eager to join forces, innovate, and enact significant transformations in the FinTech arena at this esteemed event.”

In line with the D33 Agenda to position Dubai as the top four global financial hub by 2033, the 2nd edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit is designed to encourage cross-border collaboration and innovation, pivotal to transforming the global FinTech sector. It presents a unique opportunity to explore emerging FinTech trends and their potential to drive financial progress in the MEASA region.

The Dubai FinTech Summit, scheduled for 6-7 May 2024, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, will see an unprecedented gathering of over 8,000 decision-makers, over 300 thought leaders and over 200 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge technologies.

Binance FZE, the Dubai entity of the biggest global virtual assets services provider and crypto exchange, has received the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This license, subsequent to the previous issuance of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) License in July 2023, marks a significant milestone for Binance.

Binance CEO Richard Teng stated, “As we secure the esteemed full market VASP License, it notably amplifies our unwavering commitment to advancing the financial landscape through compliance and innovation. This achievement embodies our dedication to transparency, regulatory compliance, and responsible growth in the dynamic digital assets domain.

Furthermore, it bears testimony to the innovative spirit of the UAE, as it continues to embrace the transformative economic implications of blockchain technology for its residents.”

The transition from an MVP License to a VASP License allows Binance FZE to extend its product offering and expand its services to the retail market, in addition to qualified and institutional investors. Binance FZE can now offer individual customers a broad portfolio of virtual asset products that includes spot trading, margin trading (for qualified users), and staking products.

Binance FZE General Manager Alex Chehade said, “This is a major milestone that validates our commitment to providing secure, compliant, and top-tier services to our users. It underlines Dubai’s position as a forward-thinking city – acknowledging and embracing the
financial potential that blockchain technology brings.”

Upon initiating operations under the new VASP License, Binance FZE will significantly enhance its current services beyond spot trading and fiat services. This license allows diversifying trading services exclusively for qualified and institutional investors only, where these segments are eligible to engage in margin and derivatives products, including futures and options. Presently, these services are strictly restricted to those that meet the qualified investor criteria.

Binance already has a license in Bahrain. Its license in UAE, follows the licensing of several other crypto exchanges including international players such as OKX, and Crypto.com. The competition just got fiercer in the UAE.

This announcement also comes as Binance sets to return to India.