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Exclusive: Hex Trust Secures Additional VASP License from Dubai’s VARA

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 4 min read
Exclusive: Hex Trust Secures Additional VASP License from Dubai's VARA

On June 5, Hex Trust Group (HT), a leading provider of digital asset solutions for institutional finance, protocols, foundations, and the Web3 ecosystem, secured an additional Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).

In an exclusive interview with Hex Trust, the company revealed the content of the additional license, how Hex Trust have been able to navigate the Dubai crypto regulation and upcoming update in its services.

The digital asset custodian established in 2018 noted that this new license extending to its VA Broker-Dealer and VA Management and Investment arm, HT Markets MENA FZE, is a critical expansion in Hex Trust’s service capabilities and geographic reach.

Hex Trust Solidifies License to Enhance Digital Asset Services

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly Dubai, has become a global hub for the cryptocurrency industry thanks to its robust regulatory framework and supportive environment for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). The UAE offers significant advantages, including strategic positioning, tax benefits, an investor-friendly atmosphere, and advanced technological infrastructure.

These factors have made it an attractive destination for crypto businesses seeking to leverage the region’s progressive regulatory stance towards digital finance.

Hex Trust’s journey in Dubai began with the issuance of its full VASP License in November 2023, which authorized the company to provide Virtual Asset Custodial Services to institutional clients and some investors. This foundational license established Hex Trust’s commitment to regulatory compliance and set the stage for further expansion.

According to the email shared with Cryptonews, the newly acquired license enhances Hex Trust’s ability to offer comprehensive virtual asset services, including broker-dealer functions, management and investment services, and regulated staking services. Filippo Buzzi, Hex Trust’s Regional Director, MENA, said,

“The approval of this additional VASP license demonstrates Hex Trust’s commitment to fostering crypto ecosystem innovation and enabling safe market access in the Middle East.”

Notably, HT Markets MENA FZE’s Broker-Dealer and VA Management and Investment licenses offer significant advantages to institutional investors in the MENA region. Buzzi elaborated,

“Institutional investors value adherence to regulations. With HT Markets MENA FZE being a licensed VASP, it signals a commitment to regulatory standards, ensuring trust and confidence among institutional clients.”

Hex Trust Acquires License to Expand Virtual Asset Services, Including DeFi Access and Regulated Staking


With the new license, Hex Trust Markets can provide safe access to the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. Clients can generate yield through native on-chain staking solutions and execute trades with the support of Hex Trust’s dedicated Markets team.

The firm’s global trading team offers 24/7 client support, ensuring continuous trading coverage. Key offerings include over-the-counter (OTC) trading solutions tailored to optimize price, time horizon, and market impact through proprietary execution algorithms, deep liquidity, and broad access within the virtual asset markets.

Additionally, Hex Trust offers risk management solutions for corporate treasury needs and facilitates seamless fiat on-ramp/off-ramp services for efficient conversion between fiat currencies and virtual assets.

“Hex Trust’s commitment to compliance and regulation has always been a priority, and this has earned us a reputable standing as a reliable partner for both crypto-native and traditional finance institutions,” noted Alessio Quaglini, Co-Founder and CEO of Hex Trust.

In a further comment sent to Cryptonews, VARA, the world’s first independent regulator for virtual assets, facilitated Hex Trust’s strategic position in Dubai. VARA’s regulatory process, which includes consultations with license applicants, roundtables, and multiple workshops, has been instrumental in positioning Dubai as a regional and international hub for virtual assets.

Buzzi said:

“The VARA regulatory process provided key support to successfully obtain our licenses. The UAE, GCC, and the broader MENA region represent a promising market for Hex Trust, largely due to a growing ecosystem supported by a clear regulatory framework and a forward-thinking approach to digital finance.”

As claimed by Quaglini, Hex Trust is committed to advancing its regulatory and compliance efforts to integrate the latest developments into its suite of products and provide innovative services and financing solutions to enable clients to monetize digital assets held in custody.

“Our mission at Hex Trust is to stay ahead of the curve in terms of licensing and compliance, ensuring we provide 24/7 regulated digital asset services to our 200+ global institutional clients.”

Dubai’s Crypto Regulation Positions It as a Global Virtual Asset Hub


During a panel at the Paris Blockchain Week in April, Matthew White, CEO of VARA, recently emphasized the need to ease the regulatory burden for smaller crypto entities. He highlighted the high compliance costs and suggested that more prominent market participants could host smaller ones to share these burdens.

White stressed the importance of balancing innovation with regulation to accommodate the crypto community’s diverse needs. He noted that such inclusive regulatory frameworks could attract investment and facilitate the growth and scaling of organizations.

Because of the ease of regulation known to them, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported $25 billion in crypto transactions in 2022. The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) published a report highlighting the market potential of Web3 applications, including cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (DeFi), and the metaverse. The report noted that the crypto market is stabilizing, with renewed interest signaled by Bitcoin’s resurgence in 2023.

The DMCC emphasized that the future growth of these markets depends on the regulatory approaches of governing bodies, stressing the need to balance innovation with consumer protection and fraud mitigation.