Hex Trust secures licence to provide virtual asset services in Dubai

The company will cater to institutional clients and sophisticated investors

Hex Trust will offer virtual asset custodial services, broker-dealer services and staking services to its clients in Dubai. Reuters
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Hex Trust, an insured provider of bank-grade custody and associated services for digital assets, has secured a licence from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara) as it looks to grow its business in the region.

The company has secured a Minimum Viable Product licence from the authority to offer a wide range of virtual asset services to institutional clients and sophisticated investors in Dubai, it said on Thursday.

Hex Trust — which also has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy and Vietnam — offers virtual asset custodial services, broker-dealer services and staking services, among others.

“We recognise the enormous potential in this region for building one of the leading virtual asset hubs in the world,” said Filippo Buzzi, Hex Trust’s regional director for the Mena region.

The company “looks forward to expanding our client base in Dubai following the licence approval and making a positive contribution to the VA [virtual assets] ecosystem in the region.”

Vara was established by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, in March under the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law, the first law in the emirate that regulates virtual assets.

The body aims to create an advanced legal framework to protect investors and provide international standards for virtual asset management to enable responsible business growth in the emirate.

Over the past few months, a host of cryptocurrency trading platforms have secured licences to operate in Dubai.

These include CoinMena, Bahrain's Sharia-compliant cryptocurrency asset trading platform, as well as Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, BitOasis, Bybit and the now-bankrupt FTX.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market also granted licences to a number of major companies dealing with cryptocurrencies, including virtual asset trading platform Hayvn, Kraken, one of the world's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, and Binance.

Switzerland’s digital asset bank Sygnum has also received an in-principle approval from the ADGM'sFinancial Services Regulatory Authority to expand its operations in the UAE capital.

“From day one, Hex Trust was built to follow the strictest compliance policies and adhere to regulatory standards across the main jurisdictions,” said Alessio Quaglini, co-founder and chief executive of Hex Trust.

“Being amongst the first companies to be granted the MVP is exciting, given the enormous potential of the sector in Dubai.”

Hex Trust opened its Dubai office, which serves as its headquarters for the Mena region, in June 2022.

Updated: November 24, 2022, 9:55 AM