Dubai’s crypto industry is growing, and the ecosystem has been gaining international attention with several globally reputed crypto firms securing licences to start their businesses in the Emirate, particularly the government announced new crypto rules in February this year to become a global financial power.
Laser Digital Middle East FZE, Nomura Holding’s Dubai-based digital asset subsidiary, is the latest entry into the Dubai’s crypto market as it received an operating licence from the Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) after completing the final stage of the licensing process on Tuesday.
Just a day before, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, received Minimum Viable Product licence from VARA. OKX Middle East, BitOasis, Crypto.com and Hex Trust are among other companies which were permitted by VARA to carry out their businesses.
The grant of this operating licence permits Laser Digital to provide Virtual Asset (VA) Broker- Dealer services and VA Management and Investment services from its Dubai entity, which is led by Laser Digital’s CEO Jez Mohideen, with Cameron Dickie as Head of Distribution.
With the new licence, Laser is set to launch their trading and asset management businesses in the coming months, offering institutional investors OTC trading services and a comprehensive range of digital asset investment products and solutions.
Laser Digital was launched last autumn by Nomura and was co-founded by Steven Ashley, who previously led Nomura’s wholesale division and Jez Mohideen, who was Nomura’s Chief Digital Officer and Co-Head of Global Markets EMEA.
Headquartered in Switzerland, with offices in Dubai and London, Laser Digital combines the rigor, best practices, and capabilities from global investment banking with the experience of a crypto-native team.
Jez Mohideen, CEO of Laser Digital said that they were grateful to VARA for approving their request for Operating Licence.
“VARA’s thorough and consultative process provides institutional investors with the assurance they require to engage in this asset class. With the licence now in place, we are looking forward to Laser’s growth over the coming years,” he added.
VARA CEO Helal Saeed Almarri said that the authority is dedicated to the creation of an advanced VA framework that protects investors, sets global governance standards, and supports Dubai’s vision for a borderless economy.
“Through investor protection and market transparency we proudly reinforce Dubai’s position as a global capital for advanced technologies. In providing an enhanced level of regulator security and investor protection, we are setting new benchmarks and enabling the adoption of industry best practices, across the UAE, the Middle East – and the world,” Almarri added.
About Laser Digital
Laser Digital is a digital asset business redefining the frontier of digital finance. Backed by Nomura, Laser Digital delivers scalable, robust opportunities across trading, asset management, and ventures in all its operating countries.
The team works at higher risk management standards, compliance, and commercial viability, all driven by a belief in more responsible engagement in digital assets. With an open and dynamic culture, Laser Digital has the freedom to adapt to market needs, to move swiftly to capitalisation, and to share learnings with clients and partners.