Hong Kong-based institutional crypto asset custodian Hex Trust has successfully obtained a full Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), the firm announced on Nov.15. The approval allows Hex Trust to offer virtual asset custodial services to investors and institutional clients in Dubai.
The company also received a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) operational license in February this year, and the latest development solidifies its position to operate fully in the region. Dubai’s regulatory framework mandates a three-step process for crypto service providers to secure a VARA license. This includes obtaining a provisional approval, followed by an MVP license, and ultimately, a full market product license.
Filippo Buzzi, Hex Trust’s Regional Director of MENA, highlighted that the approval places the company among a select group of cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers permitted to operate in Dubai.
“Hex Trust is fully committed to expanding into the Middle East and sees enormous potential for digital asset growth given the progressive regulations, welcoming governments, and thriving crypto ecosystem in the region.”
Alessio Quaglini, co-founder and CEO of Hex Trust, further stated that Dubai offers an excellent opportunity for businesses in the crypto sector to grow and benefit from the region’s forward-looking regulatory approach.
The company also received regulatory approval in France to offer various digital asset services, including buying, selling, custody, and trading. Hex Trust has offices in France, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Dubai, and Italy. Last year, the firm raised $88 million in its Series B funding round.
Hex Trust announced its VASP license a day after Crypto.com’s Dubai subsidiary received a VASP license from the city’s regulator. However, Crypto.com is waiting for operational approval.
Crypto Companies Like Dubai
Dubai, a UAE emirate famous for business support, simplified crypto rules last year. It also established VARA, a separate regulatory body, to oversee the sector. The move towards digital assets turned out to be positive as several crypto companies are setting up in Dubai.
Furthermore, UAE investors are optimistic about crypto. According to a KuCoin survey, 59% of crypto users in the country see the asset class as a long-term investment and a reliable store of value.