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Aquanow Awarded VASP License by Dubai’s VARA

  • Aquanow has been awarded a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual AssetsRegulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai, an emerging hub of Web3 innovation, with more than 500 crypto companies based in the Emirate.
  • The license is a major milestone and is subject to fulfillment of post-license conditions to commence operations.
  • The license includes Broker-Dealer Services, Management and Investment Services, and Lending and Borrowing Services.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aquanow, a leading crypto infrastructure provider, today announced that it has been awarded its Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). The license remains non-operational until the company fully satisfies all remaining conditions and select localisation requirements defined by VARA, following which it will be able to commence operations, subject to regulatory reverification and approval.

The company, which is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, has worked closely with global financial institutions including top-tier banks, brokerages, payment service providers, and enterprises. Since its inception in 2018, Aquanow has unlocked a multitude of crypto use cases and shaped its clients’ crypto strategy. Serving over 300 institutional clients across 50 countries, Aquanow ranks among the fastest growing financial technology companies in North America with a four-year revenue growth rate of 1,842%, according to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list.

The license from VARA marks a major milestone in the company’s international expansion plans. Aquanow’s VASP license will enable it to offer broker-dealer, lending and borrowing, and management and investment services, making it one of the most comprehensive licenses awarded to a VASP in the Emirate to date. The approval comes after Aquanow underwent a rigorous application process and met the high compliance standards required by VARA, an indication of the robust regulatory regime emerging in the United Arab Emirates.

“Dubai’s D33 vision of emerging as a top global financial center and major hub of innovation, testing, and commercialisation of new technologies was a key factor in making the Emirate the centerpiece in our international growth efforts,”

said Phil Sham, Aquanow co-founder and CEO. “We look forward to enabling a range of crypto use cases and contributing to the region’s efforts that are leading the virtual assets industry in balancing consumer protections with world-changing technology.”

About Aquanow

Aquanow is a leading digital assets infrastructure provider enabling crypto financial services for institutional clients. Each month, billions of dollar value pass through the company’s platform, facilitating a broad range of use cases. Aquanow serves an international customer base that includes the world’s fastest-growing banks, neobanks, brokerages, and payment companies. Established in 2018 and headquartered in Canada, Aquanow currently has 100+ team members.

About VARA

Established in March 2022, following the effect of Law No.4 of 2022, VARA is the competent entity in charge of regulating, supervising, and overseeing VAs and VA Activities in all zones across the Emirate of Dubai, including Special Development Zones and Free Zones but excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre. VARA plays a central role in creating Dubai's advanced legal framework to protect investors and establish international standards for Virtual Asset industry governance, while supporting the vision for a borderless economy.

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Chris DeLuca

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