Laser Digital Secures ADGM License, Enhances Presence in Abu Dhabi’s Crypto Landscape

Laser Digital, the digital asset arm of Nomura, has received a Financial Services Permission (FSP) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), marking the completion of its licensing process. This significant milestone allows Laser Digital to offer broker-dealer services and asset management for both traditional and digital assets within ADGM, underscoring the region’s reputation as a burgeoning hub for cryptocurrency innovation.

The decision to expand into Abu Dhabi is driven by the region’s progressive and transparent regulatory approach. The UAE, particularly ADGM, has crafted a conducive environment for digital asset businesses, attracting numerous crypto firms globally. The innovation-friendly regulations, combined with ADGM’s status as a leading financial center, create an appealing landscape for digital asset enterprises looking to scale.

Jez Mohideen, CEO of Laser Digital, emphasized the company’s commitment to responsible participation in the virtual asset industry. “We are eager to contribute responsibly to the virtual asset industry in the UAE. We have always been committed to upholding the highest standards of compliance and regulations at ADGM, and we look forward to contributing to ADGM’s ecosystem,” Mohideen stated.

Laser Digital’s strategy in Abu Dhabi is multifaceted, encompassing venture investment, asset management, and digital asset trading. While the trading arm is yet to go live, the licensing approval paves the way for its imminent launch. This expansion is part of Laser Digital’s broader goal to integrate digital asset solutions within traditional financial frameworks, offering robust opportunities across various sectors.

Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM, expressed enthusiasm about the inclusion of Laser Digital in ADGM’s financial community. “We’re delighted to welcome Laser Digital as we expand our financial community to include partners such as Laser, whose offerings align with ADGM and the FSRA’s international best practices and progressive regulatory ecosystem,” Ramamurthy commented.

Laser Digital’s establishment in Abu Dhabi is not an isolated event. The UAE has been attracting a growing number of crypto service providers and Web3 companies. Earlier this year, QCP Capital, a crypto options trading platform, received in-principle approval from ADGM, becoming the first Singapore-based crypto market maker and broker to do so in the region. Similarly, Chainalysis, a leading on-chain security firm, set up its regional headquarters in Dubai, further highlighting the UAE’s appeal as a crypto hub.

In addition to Abu Dhabi, Laser Digital holds a license from the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai and maintains offices in London, with its headquarters in Switzerland. This geographic diversification underscores Laser Digital’s commitment to adhering to regional regulatory standards while expanding its global footprint.

One of Laser Digital’s notable initiatives includes a stablecoin-as-a-service solution, developed in collaboration with Nomura and GMO Internet. This initiative aims to issue yen and dollar stablecoins, facilitating seamless transactions in the digital asset space. Furthermore, Laser Digital’s Libre, a fund tokenization protocol, exemplifies its innovative approach to blending asset management and venture investment, offering new avenues for institutional investors.

The regulatory approval from ADGM also comes nearly nine months after Laser Digital received in-principle approval in September 2023. The swift transition from in-principle to full approval highlights the efficiency and clarity of ADGM’s regulatory processes, further cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for digital asset firms.

The UAE’s regulatory landscape continues to evolve, with recent approvals such as a new stablecoin licensing and monitoring system by the Central Bank of the UAE. These developments signal the country’s commitment to fostering a secure and innovative environment for digital asset businesses, positioning it as a global leader in the crypto space.

Image credit: ADGM