Hex Trust said it is in the process of obtaining a Virtual Asset MVP License via the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to provide a range of services to institutional clients and sophisticated investors, according to a statement Monday.
VARA, set up in March of this year, oversees virtual asset regulation via a licensing regime. The regulator is also responsible for developing strategic plans and policies relating to digital assets in the region as well as regulating, supervising and establishing KYC/AML regulations.
It also became the world’s first regulator in May to establish a presence in the metaverse as a means of increasing accessibility to stakeholders.
With provisional approval now in hand, the custodian said it would open an office in Dubai for use as a regional headquarters in the Middle East.
The move follows the custodian’s recent and first significant raise via an $88 million Series B funding round in March, where funds were directed toward scaling its operations to the Middle East and Europe.
Crypto firms continue to flock to the major Arab emirate following Dubai’s head, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, passing the “Regulation of Virtual Assets in the Emirate of Dubai” in February.
Better known as the Virtual Asset Law, the regulation sets about providing clear guidelines and definitions regarding digital assets including NFTs.
“Hex Trust is excited and 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,” Hex Trust’s regional director (MENA) Filippo Buzzi said in the statement.