eToro, M2 win ADGM crypto licenses to operate in UAE financial center


Crypto investment platforms eToro and M2 received various degrees of approval to offer their services in the United Arab Emirates from the ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority, which oversees the UAE’s international financial center, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

EToro received approval for a Financial Services Permission (FSP) that allows a provider to operate as a broker for securities, derivatives and crypto assets. Cryptocurrency exchange M2, on the other hand, got recognition as a fully regulated Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and custodian that can on-board UAE residents and institutional clients.

According to Yoni Assia, founder and CEO of eToro, the new UAE licensing is “a key milestone in our continued global expansion.” In September, eToro received Crypto Asset Service Provider (CASP) registration from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). At the time, deputy CEO Hedva Ber highlighted the importance of a European operating license for a crypto company that aims for global expansion.

M2’s services in the UAE for retail and institutional clients will include crypto custody, UAE dirham-based Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) trading and on/off-ramp services for the dirham. M2 CEO Stefan Kimmel sees the timing of license issuance as perfect, given the return of positive investor sentiment.

Related: Nomura’s Laser Digital receives in-principal approval for operations in Abu Dhabi

While the UAE continues to attract international crypto players with operational licenses, the registration authority of the ADGM introduced comprehensive regulations governing Web3 organizations in November.

The Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Foundations Regulations 2023 aim to provide regulatory clarity to blockchain foundations, Web3 entities, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and traditional foundations expanding into DLT.

The regulations allow for the creation of a “DLT Foundation” by submitting a signed charter that includes a description of the foundation’s initial assets and details about its governance and token issuance (if any), along with the organization’s white paper, tokenomics paper and a link to a technical document called a DLT Framework.

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