This article was first published on The Block
Singapore’s Fintonia Group, a crypto fund manager that also invests in fintech as a venture capital investor, has secured a license to operate in Dubai.
It joins a growing list of crypto firms licensed to operate in the Emirate by its digital asset regulatory authority VARA.
Singapore-based Fintonia Group said it has obtained a license to operate in Dubai amid a global move by crypto firms into the UAE.
According to an announcement from Fintonia, the fintech investor and fund manager specializing in the digital asset space was granted the license by the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). This is in addition to its regulated status by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In Singapore, it currently offers loans secured against bitcoin collateral along with two institutional-grade bitcoin funds.
With the regulatory ruling, the company plans to boost its presence in the UAE and expand its team in Dubai while providing treasury and balance sheet management services to token foundations, protocols and bitcoin miners among other players. It expects to expands upon this for web3 companies based in the Middle East.
"Dubai is making significant strides towards establishing itself as a virtual assets hub and creating a conducive environment for the industry’s growth and we are very pleased to be part of this rapid growth," said Fintonia Group founder Adrian Chng. "The virtual asset license marks an important milestone in our aspiration to have a presence in every region where there are innovative Web 3.0 and crypto companies.”
The latest ruling means that Fintonia joins a growing list of crypto and digital asset companies approved to operate in Dubai. VARA, the overseer of the crypto industry in Dubai, set up shop in March this year and has made steps to appear crypto-friendly, for instance by announcing plans to launch a metaverse headquarters in The Sandbox virtual world.
Charged with managing Dubai’s growing virtual asset industry, it has already handed out licenses to top crypto companies such as Crypto.com, FTX and Binance, all of which will base their regional hubs in the Emirate. Most recently, it gave crypto trading app OKX a provisional license to operate in the territory.