Fintonia Group gets license to operate in Dubai
Singapore-based Fintonia Group is the latest crypto firm to receive a license from the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai.
Founded in 2015, Fintonia has been providing fund and wealth management and merchant banking solutions to both institutional and entrepreneurial clients. This is Fintonia Group’s latest achievement as the group has launched two institutional-grade Bitcoin funds in Singapore in late 2021.
Fintonia, the fintech investor and fund manager specializing in the digital asset space also received the regulated status by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 2016.
The group currently offers loans secured against bitcoin collateral along with two institutional-grade bitcoin funds in Singapore in late 2021.
VARA is acting as the single custodial entity mandated to license and govern the cryptocurrency sector in Dubai, including all mainland and free zones but excluding the autonomous financial free zone at the Dubai International Financial Centre.
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.
Virtual Assets Hub
“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 enabling us to connect and collaborate with members of the crypto native ecosystem and the traditional financial services industry,”,” Adrian said.
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.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority that houses VARA said: “We welcome the Fintonia Group to our licensing programme, even as we look to enable the most responsible and innovative global participants in the virtual asset ecosystem.
We look forward to engaging with Fintonia to build thought leadership for the virtual assets industry and their active contribution to facilitating VARA’s regime, drive the next phase of maturity for the sector.”
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, Dubai gave crypto trading app OKX a provisional license to operate in the territory.
According to Chainalysis, Middle East is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets in the world and it has received $271.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency between July 2020 and June 2021, which represents 6.6% per cent of global activity.