US crypto firm to open in Abu Dhabi

Tokenised securities trading company Seccurency to set up under Abu Dhabi Global Market

Dan Doney, CEO of Seccurency.
Dan Doney, CEO of Seccurency.

Seccurency, a US-based provider of financial technology products for the tokenised issuance and trading of securities, is set to open a cypto-asset business under the new Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) regulatory framework in the UAE's capital.

The firm will file an application with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM to secure its licence to operate the business, after which it will partner with global blockchain companies to launch the fully-regulated firm for international clients.

The company in Abu Dhabi will offer crypto custodial services and an exchange platform accessing large-scale global liquidity.

Earlier this year, the firm was allowed to operate in the ADGM RegLab sandbox testing environment, where it is continuing to showcase its ability to create secure and compliant tokenised securities in the MENA region and globally, using its innovative RegTex technology.

Securrency's services enforce compliance in the onboarding, subscription, enrolment and issuance process. They also use Compliance Aware TokenTM technology to ensure tokenised securities remain compliant after issuance - including in secondary-market trading.

John Hensel, chief operating officer of Securrency and senior executive officer of Securrency MENA, said the firm's near-term vision is to launch fully-regulated exchanges for both asset classes via ADGM's existing regulatory framework.

"This is the only way to provide stability, overcome challenges and ultimately, facilitate economic development via investment opportunities, particularly for private equity and institutional investors in this region," he said.

Wai Lum Kwok, executive director, Capital Markets, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, added that the authority welcomes innovators, businesses, and financial firms to make use of its regulated platform to conduct and grow their businesses.

"We are encouraged by Securrency's plans to submit an application to set up a marketplace for digital assets in ADGM. Along with their strategic partners, Securrency will leverage our comprehensive regulatory regime to foster governance, efficiency and transparency in crypto asset activities," he said.

Securrency's protocol can be used on the Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple and EOS among other ledgers, allowing for seamless on-chain and off-chain movement of tokens.

Last week, a special standing committee in Saudi Arabia issued a statement reaffirming the illegality of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the kingdom.

The move was in line with a number of websites and social media accounts promoting the digital payment methods, claiming they are "authorised" by official authorities in the kingdom. The committee denied the allegations and said "no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices".

A few days later, however, Dubai-based cryptocurrency wallet BitOasis said it is working with regulators across its key markets in the GCC to develop regulatory frameworks in light of Saudi Arabia's ban.

In July, the founder and chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla said cryptocurrencies are likely to be regulated soon.

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