(Bloomberg) -- Dubai awarded a full crypto license to a subsidiary of Nomura Holdings Inc., one of the first such permits awarded by the emirate since it overhauled its regulatory regime for digital assets.
Laser Digital Middle East FZE, the Dubai-based digital-asset subsidiary of Nomura, will be able to offer virtual asset broker-dealer and investment management services locally, Laser Digital said on Tuesday. Laser plans to launch over-the-counter trading services and digital-asset investment products for institutional investors in coming months, it said.
The approval “will allow us to innovate in the asset class and come up with products that suit the institutions in the virtual asset space,” Jez Mohideen, chief executive officer of Laser Digital, said in an interview.
Launched last fall, Laser Digital is headquartered in Switzerland and has offices in Dubai and and London. It chose Dubai as one of its locations because it has a dedicated regulator for virtual assets and a growing cryptocurrency market, according to Mohideen.
Laser’s approval comes after Dubai tightened scrutiny of crypto license seekers earlier this year in the wake of several high-profile blowups including Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX. The wave of scandals and last year’s crypto rout didn’t deter large financial institutions, which have kept developing products and services around digital assets.
French bank Societe Generale SA received France’s first crypto license last month, while asset manager BlackRock Inc. applied with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to launch a bitcoin exchange-traded fund in mid-June.
The local unit of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, in June received a so-called MVP Operational permit, one step short of a full license.
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