UAE HAYVN investors, Deus X Capital, a $1 billion family office has agreed to buy out HAYVN digital assets infrastructure provider and appoints Richard Crook as new CEO. Deus X Capital will purchase the business brand, technology, clients and staff from other HAYVN shareholders.

The parties have agreed to the asset purchase, subject to completion.

As per the press release, the deal provides the opportunity to recapitalize and reinvigorate the business as it seeks to consolidate its presence in the Middle East, while allowing for growth globally.

In addition, Richard Crook has been appointed interim CEO of HAYVN with a focus on growing the business and realizing the global opportunities ahead of it. Ahmed Ismail, Board Member & Co-Founder of HAYVN had told LaraontheBlock that they would be appointing a new CEO in December 2023.

Crook joins HAYVN following more than 25 years in the digital assets and investment banking industries, including roles such as COO of BCB Group, the digital assets payments business, and Head of Emerging Technology at investment bank RBS after serving in senior management roles at UBS.

Tim Grant, CEO, Deus X Capital, speaking on the asset purchase stated, “HAYVN is an innovative business at the forefront of the movement to a democratized financial system. We are committed to providing institutional clients with the critical services they need to capitalize on the existing and growing opportunity in digital assets, while continuing to build and develop new capabilities. HAYVN is core to our strategy and represents another pillar of our commitment to the Middle East region.”

Richard Crook, interim CEO, HAYVN, said: “I am delighted to join a business that has already established itself as a leader in financial technology and a fundamental pillar of the digital assets ecosystem. The digital assets industry is growing at a rapid pace as it continues to converge with traditional financial services, and I look forward to ensuring that HAYVN is central to that growth as we build on our success.”

This comes after the ousting of their previous CEO under difficult circumstances.

After the confusion and speculations surrounding the situation of UAE based Hayvn a digital asset focused financial institution, providing trading, asset Management, custody, and payments, Ahmed Ismail, Board Member & Co-Founder clarified a few facts to set the record straight and bring hope that the future is bright for Hayvn, and for the digital asset scene.

First and foremost Ismail firmly and unequivocally stated that client funds are totally safe and have not been touched and as such Hayvn continues to serve its clients with the utmost professionalism and care. He explained to LaraontheBlock, “Clients funds are safe globally. All our client’s funds are safe wherever they reside.”

Secondly the company under the intern leadership of Tim Grant ,CEO, Deus X Capital, Stuart Connolly CIO, Deus X Capital & HAYVN Board member and Ismael himself, are currently cleaning up house, setting their strategies for the company and looking to hire a CEO to replace Christopher Flinos.

Ismael stated, “We are firmly committed to Hayvn and to its success. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, yet despite this Hayvn is doing well. Its revenues were up in the past month and we are looking forward to hiring a new CEO to replace Flinos.”

In terms of the technical and technology issues in Hayvn, Ismael reaffirms that technically all things are running smoothly. He admits that there were glitches when they were migrating to the new platform, yet clients were made aware that this might happen and all things were handled and dealt with according to the highest modes of professionalism.

In terms of its regulatory status, Ismael reaffirms that Hayvn continues to be a globally regulated business through their entities in Australia, Cayman Islands and Lithuania.

In the final analysis while Hayvn has gone through a tumultuous experience, that doesn’t make it a failure yet. Companies throughout history have gone through ups and downs but what makes them survivors are the team of passionate dedicated individuals behind them.

If Binance, whose reputation and growth stemmed from one person, its founder and CEO CZ, and who had this year to face the SEC (Securities and Exchange Committee) and come out still alive and kicking, there is hope for digital asset, crypto companies everywhere.

2024 will be a pivotal year for Hayvn and its team; they will either come out stronger than before having learned from past mistakes and experiences, or they will fall into oblivion. Those following Hayvn closely for such a long time, can only wish them the former outcome.

UAE based HAYVN which is a digital asset focused financial institution, providing trading, asset Management, custody, and payments previously regulated and active in Abu Dhabi, has fallen under a great wall of scrutiny and a black cloud both with regards of the activities of its previous CEO as well its current status as a regulated entity in the UAE.

In less than a week, Hayvn not only announced the so called resignation of its CEO Christopher Flinos and the request to make its status inactive in Abu Dhabi ADGM ( Abu Dhabi Global Market), but it also insinuated that the CEO had carried out a huge misconduct. In an email statement made by the PR agency of Hayvn, Fully Vested, to UNLOCK Blockchain, the agency noted, “The CEO stepped down from the management of the business, following a request from the Board of Directors due to the CEO’s conduct.”

Sources close to LaraontheBlock have noted that there has been speculation moving around with regards to possible embezzlement. This is further reconfirmed by the fact that Christopher Flinos is nowhere to be found. His phone is off, he does not respond to LinkedIn or other messages, and he himself has not made any statement to clear his name or explain his actions and that of the board of Hayvn.

LaraontheBlock reached out to the FSRA (Financial Services and Regulatory Authority) at ADGM with two questions. The first question, as a regulatory authority what actions have or will be taken towards Hayvn given the current cloud of speculation around it and the activities of its prior CEO?

The second question, can ADGM confirm that institutional clients in the UAE have not been effected financially or otherwise from the actions taken by the prior CEO and Hayvn as a crypto custodian and if effected will there be restitution?

The response which came from FSRA attributed to Mr. Emmanuel Givanakis. CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at ADGM stated, “As the financial regulator of ADGM, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is bound by the highest levels of confidentiality and therefore is not positioned to discuss individual firms. The FSRA is committed to supervising all regulated entities so they maintain high standards to address risks related to their activities. ADGM stands as a transparent jurisdiction and has relevant public information on registered and licensed entities by its independent regulatory authorities in ADGM available on the public register.”

As per its license, AC Limited (Hayvn) is not permitted to deal with Retail Clients and is restricted to USD 1 million in total assets (Fiat and Accepted Virtual Assets) for a maximum of 100 clients.

When the same questions were posed to Ahmed W Ismail Co-Founder, Board Member & Operating Committee Member of HAYVN, he replied with this statement, “I can confirm that there has been a change of management at HAYVN. The CEO stepped down from the management of the business, following a request from the Board of Directors. Client funds are safe and there will be no disruption to the service of any clients. We continue to be a globally regulated business through our entities in Australia, Cayman and Lithuania.”

Hayvn was granted a license in ADGM in December 2021, allowing it to offer deals for investments, and virtual asset custody. In October 2023 Hayvn announced that had processed over 22 000 cryptocurrency transactions to date in 2023.

While back in August 2023 Swedish and UAE based Gayo aviation, a luxury travel company that offers aircraft management, consulting services, aircraft purchase and sales and flight deck services announced they were now offering crypto payments utilizing UAE HAYVN Pay.

In May Hayvn also announced that it had recorded returns of 19 percent increase on its crypto index fund since its launch in January 2023. The index fund  included the top 20 digital assets by market capitalization with a maximum weighting of 10% for any asset to increase diversification. It is a broad based index strategy with monthly rebalancing.

In short Hayvn was busy partnering and launching products.  It partnered with WooCommernce to offer a plug-in allowing merchants to create an additional revenue stream by accepting cryptocurrency payments from customers globally. It also partnered with crypto hardware manufacturer, Ledger to provide safe and robust off-ramping rails to users of Ledger’s Ledger Live service, as well as strategic partnership with Akurateco, a cutting-edge white-label payment software vendor operating worldwide to broaden crypto payments, and finally the most recent partnership with Malta based Apcopay, a Single Layer – Payments Orchestration Platform which they noted was crucial to HAYVN Pay’s global expansion strategy, providing an alternative payment avenue for businesses.

This flurry of activity while to many looks like reflections of growth and expansion could also have been a cover up for activities that led to the current situation Hayvn is in today.

Could the rushed technology upgrade implemented just before Flinos’s resignation which created widespread disruptions for Hayvn Pay Clients been part and one of the issues realted to the misconduct of the CEO?

These questions and many more should become clearer as the Abu Dhabi Global Market regulator investigates, and as Hayvn’s new leadership takes form.

UAE based HAYVN Pay an AC Holding Limited Dubai, offering,  digital asset-focused financial institution delivering Trading, Custody, Asset Management and Research services has processed over 22 000 cryptocurrency transactions to date in 2023.

As per HAYVN linkedIn post, “The market demands a payment platform that is accessible, regulated, affordable and efficient.”

The post adds, “HAYVN Pay is a regulation and technology-led business. We currently meet and exceed the requirements of several payment regulators and will continue to lead the integration of cryptocurrency into the traditional payments ecosystem.”

Prior to this announcement, HAYVN announced that it had received obtained initial approval from the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai. HAYVN will now undertake the in-depth process of applying for a Virtual Asset Service Provider License, in accordance with VARA requirements.

The initial approval affirms HAYVN’s commitment to strengthening its presence throughout the by ensuring firm commitment to regulatory compliance in the region, which remains a core territory for HAYVN.

At the time CEO of HAYVN, Christopher Flinos stated, “We are delighted to have met the requirements for our initial approval from VARA and look forward to being part of VARA’s regulatory framework. VARA regulation solidifies our position as the trusted cryptocurrency provider regionally. This is a core market of ours, and our regulatory strength here further supports our broader GCC business. We are proud to be a regulation-led firm, committed to upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance, as we continue to expand our presence and contribute to the growth of the digital asset ecosystem here in the UAE.”

UAE based HAYVN, a digital asset payment, trading, custodian service provider regulated in the UAE, Cayman Islands, Australia, British Virgin Islands, has also received a VASP ( Virtual asset service provider) license from European jurisdiction, Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT) has provided HAYVN with a VASP license.

According to HAYVN, by obtaining the VASP license from the Lithuanian regulators, HAYVN is further equipped to offer its suite of services throughout Europe.

“We are delighted to have obtained the VASP license from Lithuanian regulators,” said Christopher Flinos, CEO of HAYVN. “This achievement solidifies our position as the trusted and compliant European cryptocurrency provider, enabling us to deliver innovative solutions to clients across Europe. HAYVN remains committed to upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and security, as we continue to expand our presence and contribute to the growth of the digital asset ecosystem globally.”

Leago Papo, Director of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs at HAYVN, added, “Obtaining the VASP license from Lithuanian regulators is a significant milestone. We have worked diligently to ensure that our operations adhere to the most rigorous compliance standards. This license reaffirms our commitment to maintaining regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions and showcases our dedication to building trust with our clients and regulators alike.”

UAE based HAYVN, a regulated digital asset management financial institution, has recorded returns of 19 percent increase on its crypto index fund since its launch in January 2023.

The index fund for cryptocurrency assets offers clients a diversified, low cost, and regulated strategy to invest in.

According to HAYVN CEO, Christopher Flinos, “The funds early success and HAYVN predictions for a positive long-term trend due to our carefully weighted Top 20 portfolio, has seen the HAYVN 20 become one of the leading fund benchmarks in cryptocurrency markets”.

The HAYVN 20 fund has three distinguishing features, first it is limits the maximum exposure to any one digital asset at 10% creating a more balanced portfolio. Secondly the fund rebalances monthly, allowing HAYVN 20  to capture new trends in the market by increasing its investment in the emerging winners as their market capitalization grows, while reducing exposure to cryptocurrencies which are declining in value.

Finally the fund has daily liquidity which gives investors the freedom to change their allocation anytime.

Flinos added, “Investing in the HAYVN Index Fund offers investors an opportunity to gain exposure to broader cryptocurrency markets without having to worry about managing individual coins and allocations themselves. With its initial track record and performance so far, it provides a solid option for those who want sustainable long-term exposure rather than concentration risk individual coins”.

HAYVN, regulated by UAE Abu Dhabi Global Markets, CIMA, and AUSTRAC has launched its first HAYVN 20 Index Fund a high risk fund that includes crypto assets.

According to their website the fund will include the top 20 digital assets by market capitalization with a maximum weighting of 10% for any asset to increase diversification. It is a broad based index strategy with monthly rebalancing.

The Fund will be managed by HAYVN Asset Management, a British Virgin Island Approved Manager, 100% subsidiary of the HAYVN group.

The primary objective of the HAYVN 20 Segregated Portfolio is to deliver long term capital growth by investing 100% of fund assets within the crypto asset class. The fund is suitable for medium to long-term investors seeking diversified exposure to the broader crypto asset market, obtained through holding the top 20 crypto assets by market capitalisation. The fund aims to provide investors with enhanced returns relative to a pure market-cap weighted top 20 strategy. Investors should expect high levels of volatility and potential drawdown of their investment.

The fund follows a passive rebalancing strategy. The fund is invested in the top 20 crypto assets by market capitalisation, with monthly rebalancing. A maximum component weighting of 10% is utilised to prevent any single asset, and thus single source of risk, from dominating the portfolio. As such, the fund is relatively overexposed to lower market cap assets in the top 20, and less exposed to assets where the 10% asset cap is binding, such as Bitcoin.

According to HAYVN CEO, Christopher Flinos, ” With HAYVN20 we are providing investors with a diversified, low cost and regulated solution to invest in one of the biggest investment trends since the inception of the internet. We believe that risk is fully priced into currenct market conditions, and we want our customers to be able to participate in what we expect will be a positive long-term trend”

A broad based index strategy with monthly rebalancing is a low cost way to capture the long-term growth in digital assets and gain exposure to emerging trends without the inherent manager biases of active asset management.

In addition HAYVN Founder in an interview recently announced that they were preparing for a Series B Funding round in mid-2023 to raise up to $20 million to further scale the business and spin off HAYVN Pay.

HAYVN Co-Founder Christopher Flinos in a recent interview stated that HAYVN is preparing for a series B funding round in the second half of this year and aims to raise up to $20 million, which it will use to further scale the business and potentially spin off Hayvn Pay.

“We are working through that at the moment and are hopeful that we will be able to spin off Hayvn Pay quite quickly, have it on its own and then potentially look at whether the series B is done at the Hayvn level, or whether it is done at the Hayvn Pay [level],” Mr Flinos says.

It is all over the news that UAE HayVN, regulated virtual asset trading platform is considering to bid for FTX Pay, FTX crypto exchange’s payment business. The reason the CEO of HayVN gives is that FTX Pay is valuable because of its relationships with establish companies such as MasterCard. Well is that a valid reason, given that most of these established companies have severed their relationships with FTX Pay, while it is actually Visa that was a partner and not MasterCard.

UAE National newspaper came out with a story that UAE HayVN regulated by ADGM is interested in purchasing FTX Pay  to integrate it with HayVN Pay infrastructure according to statements made by Christopher Flinos, co-founder and chief executive of Hayvn.

As he told the UAE National, “We are pleased to learn that some of the FTX businesses have solvent balance sheets, responsible management and valuable franchises. We are open to a discussion with their bankers, Perella Weinberg, as soon as they have the court’s approval to proceed.”

FTX Pay is an application that allows merchants to accept both cryptocurrency and fiat payments for a flat 1 per cent transaction fee with no minimum or upfront costs, according to its website.

In the interview Flinos did not disclose the amount Hayvn was willing to pay for FTX’s payments business, but said its plan to bid for the company had been approved by the Hayvn board and “back-channel discussions” had begun to indicate their interest. “It will be a public process but we want to be more ahead of the others for when that drops.”

Flinos believes FTX Pay is valuable because of its relationships with established companies such as Mastercard. He states, “From the advisers’ perspective, they want to know that the bidders have got money; tick, we have got money. They want to know that the bidders have got a good business; tick, we have got a good business, we are regulated, we have a game plan, we can value it [and] we know what it is worth to us. Because Sam Bankman-Fried had such a strong presence as an individual and was the darling of the industry, then companies like MasterCard had arrangements with FTX Pay.”

He adds “I am basically not buying it for its tech, as we have got better tech. I am buying it for the relationships that it has and the presence that it has with these people, so it is less risky.”

Hayvn Pay is a regulated financial network for blockchain-based currencies and works with UAE companies such as DAMAC Properties, developer Nakheel and the Dubai government, allowing people to buy property using cryptocurrency.  Earlier Hayvn had partnered with WooCommerce, an open source, e-commerce platform.

The CEO notes, “Acquiring FTX Pay will help solidify our position as the global leader in cryptocurrency payment solutions.”

But does HayVN know that VISA severed this relationship in the aftermath of FTX debacle and fall?

Yes, VISA had teamed up global crypto exchange FTX to offer debit cards in 40 countries with a focus on Latin America, Asia and Europe. But Visa terminated this partnership and their global agreements with FTX as well as their U.S. debit card program which is being wound down by their issuer.

Other companies have sought to distance themselves from FTX, such as BitPay.  Even Stripe removed the press release on its website that talks about its partnership with FTX for seamless payment, as has Nuvei a company that provides on and off ramp payment services to FTX users.

As for Reddit it also had a partnership with FTX to integrate Reddit’s Community Points in the US, EU, Australia, and other global markets. The partnership featured the integration of FTX Pay as a white-label payment and exchange solution to support users onboarding Community Points, but is surely now also a thing of the past.

So where are the partnerships that were forged with FTX Pay and if you purchase FTX Pay does that mean that the former partnerships come to life again? If the purchase is not for the technology, but for the relationships, severed ones, will it be so easy to revive them?

I really don’t know why HayVN whose technology is as they say better than FTX’s, and which is regulated by UAE ADGM would want to get into the position of purchasing an unregulated, bankrupt and partner less  sub entity of FTX. Beats me

It all started with the FTX downfall and then Binance’s Co-Founder and CEO call for crypto exchanges to carry out proof of reserves. Since then crypto exchanges such as Binance and have provided wallets addresses tied to company wallets while Nansen blockchain analytics firm is creating a display of crypto exchange proof of reserves dashboard that currently includes Binance,, OkX, Kucoin, Deribit, Bitfinex, Github, and others.

But what are locally homegrown crypto exchanges in MENA doing. Will they carry out proof of reserves, do they see it as the solution to bring trust back to crypto exchanges, and who has exposure to FTX?  

MENA Crypto Exchanges and Proof of Reserves

Bahrain based CoinMENA Talal Tabbaa and Dina Sama’an when asked by LaraontheBlock about if they will be doing proof of reserves stated, “This FTX news is a major setback for our industry and highlights the importance of regulation. This is why CoinMENA was established under the Central Bank of Bahrain, with a robust regulatory framework and compliance requirements. We go through regular audits and have to submit periodic reports to the regulators. More importantly, we keep our user funds in segregated accounts and we don’t offer leverage or margin which severely increases the risk profile of an exchange. We see crypto as a long-term investment and will continue to manage our risk prudently to build a sustainable and profitable business.”

Tabbaa adds, “CoinMENA is also reaching out to Nansen who is heading this effort globally to see the best way for it to be done.”

UAE regulated BitOasis CEO Ola Doudin states, “We believe that locally regulated platforms that follow industry best practices with proper oversight and supervision by their local regulators is the best way to ensure consumer protection and proper risk management practices.”

Vasja Zupan, President of UAE based Matrix Exchange in a reply to the question of whether they will do proof of reserves states, “We simply hold 1:1 client assets in our custody that is literally reconciled daily and regularly reported and checked by regulator and external auditors.”

Basil Askari Co-Founder of UAE MidChains has a similar reply, “In terms of proof of reserves we are already doing this on a daily basis with our regulator by providing daily client account reconciliations.”

Ola Doudin in her reply to this question stated, “BitOasis holds client assets in segregated client money accounts and custody environments. We’re an audited company that maintains the highest level of security and industry practices in storing and maintaining client assets one to one backed. We do not engage in any fractional reserve practices, proprietary trading, lending, and borrowing and we do not have an exchange token.”

Christopher Flinos, Chief Executive Officer of Hayvn crypto exchange in UAE “We already do proof of reserves. Our client’s crypto stays in segregated client wallets and our clients have always had access to their reserves. The firm in addition keeps shareholder funds in USD We hold no treasury in any coins not even stablecoins.”

Will Proof of reserves bring trust back to crypto exchanges?

Zupan believes that proof of reserves is totally useless without “proof of liabilities”. As he explains, “Proof of reserves alone should not bring trust back without 3rd party reviews and regulatory oversight over centralized services. I believe that CeFi needs a strong regulatory overview in combination with strong transparency and DeFi needs total transparency with independent reviews (not everyone can evaluate complex software and framework).”

Basil Askari co-founder of MidChains believes it is not enough to publish numbers. He explains, “Regulation and strict supervision by regulators on how client funds are used, is and has always been critical, as in TradeFi.”

Talal Tabbaa believes that the way crypto exchanges are carrying out proof of reserves at the moment is missing an important element. He explains, “In accounting when you provide information on your assets, you also provide information on your liabilities. Crypto exchanges need to do both proof of reserves and proof of liabilities preferably on a blockchain in real-time.”

Flinos agrees that with the current behavior of crypto exchange leadership trust is continuing to be damaged and what is need is strong regulation, control and corporate governance.

Exposure to FTX

In the past both CoinMENA and BitOasis had in their investment rounds received investment from FTX Ventures through Alameda Research. As such CoinMENA in a joint statement from both Talal Tabbaa and Dina Sam’an, Co-Founders, to LaraontheBlock clarified the following:  “FTX’s Investment arm Alameda Research invested $1 million in CoinMENA’s $9.5m seed funding round in 2021. All the funds were received prior to the close of the seed round. Their stake is less than 3% and has no voting rights. In light of the recent news, we have offered to buy back their minority stake.”

BitOasis also made a public blog post where it stated the following: “BitOasis confirms that it has no commercial relationship or exposure with Alameda Research (Alameda) or any other FTX entity. Accordingly, recent events at FTX and Alameda do not have any bearing on our business, or our ability to provide our customers with a safe and secure trading experience. In 2021, Alameda participated in BitOasis’ Series B financing round. As a result of its investment Alameda holds a 2.2% shareholding in BitOasis through Alameda Ventures Limited. Alameda is not represented (nor has it ever been) on BitOasis’ board of directors or on any governance forum or committee in any capacity. The shareholding is small and hence creates no exposure to our business.”

Matrix, Hayvn and MidChains founders confirm that they have zero exposure to FTX. Zupan stated, “We don’t have any exposure to FTX or any related party or similar protocols.” Al Askari as well confirmed, “Both our client funds and corporate assets are not exposed. We keep our (and our clients) funds in a safe boring 1:1 holding.” Flinos confirmed that they do not deal with unregulated counterparts.

Two crypto exchanges, RAIN in Bahrain and Veromex in UAE have not yet replied to the queries posed, if and when they do reply, their responses will be added.

Take Away

While up until now international exchanges have always looked more attractive because of their liquidity and the amount of crypto they list as well as their geographic coverage, it seems that those regulated in the region whether in UAE or Bahrain are looking more attractive because of their adherence to strong regulatory bodies.

A lot of news is coming out that international exchanges undertaking so called proof of reserves are not being transparent. For example’s cold storage revealed a suspicious transfer of 320,000 Ether worth $404 million, to  Kris Marszalek, CEO of assured traders that the transfer was accidental; funds were to be moved to a new cold storage address. Experts allege that the transfer helped show its proof of reserves of user funds shortly after the transfer. Even more so it seems that 20 percent of reserves are in Meme Token SHBB.

This also happened with Huobi. It was noted that after Huobi released the asset snapshot of the asset reserve, 10,000 ETH was transferred from Huobi to Binance and OkX deposit wallets. (

Binance CEO CZ also made an interesting tweet today November 13th 2022 where he says Binance is not just a CEX (Centralized Exchange). This comes as the crypto mood globally moves towards DEX (Decentralized Exchanges). In his tweet he gives advice on how to store crypto in your own wallet, and refers to trustwallet while saying that Binance is not just a CEX but provides other options.

In the end, the future is in decentralized exchanges, smart contracts, and blockchain databases for proof of reserves such as and others. Crypto was never the culprit, it was molding crypto into a traditional financial sector that was.

All women luxury jet charter, ME Jets, partners with UAE digital asset service provider Hayvn to offer crypto payment services.

ME Jets Managing Partner Amy Spicer, stated,  “With the crypto world being relatively unknown to us at ME Jets we wanted a company that would offer a lot of support when getting started, and HAYVN did just that.  Our requirement was to partner with a global company with a local presence based here in the UAE,that supports local companies and builds a trusted business relationship. “

HAYVN CEO, Christopher Flinos, added, “Being an all-woman team who saw an opportunity, makes ME Jets pioneers in the aviation industry, much like HAYVN is in the digital asset space. Partnering with ME Jets ensures HAYVN continues our expansion of crypto payments into the aviation charter and brokerage industry, adding further credibility to our global presence and abilities”.

Hayvn’s customers in UAE include DAMAC properties.