Laser Digital logo in front of Abu Dhabi skyline

Laser Digital obtains in-principle approval to operate in Abu Dhabi’s financial free zone

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Laser Digital, a subsidiary of Japanese-based Nomura (NASDAQ: NRSCF), has received an in-principle approval (IPA) to offer its digital currency services to Abu Dhabi residents.

Following intense scrutiny of the company’s operations, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) issued the license. Under the IPA, Laser Digital will be allowed to provide broker-dealer services, subject to specific limitations until the Financial Services Permission is obtained.

Laser Digital said the license brings it one step closer to its goal of offering asset and fund management services to institutional clients in Abu Dhabi. A community reading of the statement reveals that Laser Digital will not limit its services to only digital currencies but will offer traditional asset services.

“Laser is developing investment services in virtual assets that are both dynamic and transparent, and their investment offerings align well with ADGM and the FSRA’s international best practices and progressive regulatory ecosystem,” said Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM.

Laser Digital’s latest license comes on the heels of receiving a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).

Laser Digital CEO Jez Mohideen stated that pursuing registration in Abu Dhabi was a relatively easy decision, given the clarity of regulation offered to service providers. Mohideen pointed to a robust cross-industry dialogue, transparency, and public-private sector collaboration as reasons for choosing the UAE.

By seeking registration in the ADGM, a free financial trade zone, Laser Digital will be exempt from the usual tax burden and enjoy extensive business incentives. The ADGM has registration authority, a standard law legal system for dispute resolution, and its regulatory agency.

The ADGM is closely associated with Web3-based entities, famously hosting M2 and a $2 billion-backed initiative by Hub71+Digital Assets. In 2022, the ADGM unfurled five guiding principles to regulate digital assets in the zone, pledging to be dynamic and innovative.

UAE emerges as Web3 hub in the Middle East

The UAE has emerged as the hub for Web3 following the efforts of Abu Dhabi and Dubai over the last 12 months. As a result of the initiatives, a growing number of digital asset firms have set up shop in the region, drawn by clear, concise, and transparent legislation.

The UAE is also keen on finding new use cases for Web3 technology to improve its digital economy as it mulls a shift from the oil and tourism sectors.

Across the Atlantic, blockchain technology enthusiasts are finding applicability for the technology in the film industry, using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to flip the concept of ownership in favor of content creators.

Watch: What is IBM’s take on BSV blockchain?

YouTube video

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.