Abu Dhabi grants virtual asset firm M2 permission to offer crypto services

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The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has granted financial services permission (FSP) to virtual assets firm M2 to operate a multilateral trading facility from the United Arab Emirates capital.

In an Aug. 16 announcement, the Abu Dhabi-headquartered M2 said the regulatory approval would allow institutional and retail clients in the UAE to “buy, sell and custody virtual assets,” such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

The M2 platform, which is scheduled to launch later in 2023, has been developed over the past year with a long-term vision to establish “the highest levels of trust, security and integrity in the emerging virtual asset class,” the announcement said.

Once live, the M2 platform will also allow UAE users to buy cryptocurrencies using fiat money, as well as access to derivatives and yield services.

“The process of obtaining the license is the first step on our journey, and we will remain in close dialogue with ADGM to ensure transparency around the custody of client assets,” said Stefan Kimmil, chief executive of M2.

Cointelegraph reached out to M2 for further comments but didn’t receive an immediate response.

“Over the past five years, the ADGM regulatory framework has established clear rules for those operating in the virtual assets sector, and M2 will uphold the highest standards to reflect their vision as the UAE continues to affirm its reputation as a global leader in this space,” he added.

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ADGM had not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment at the time of publication.

ADGM introduced a comprehensive virtual asset regulatory framework in 2018. It has since attracted a number of major companies dealing with cryptocurrencies to set up businesses in its regulated financial economic zone.

“At ADGM, our mission has always been centered around unlocking new growth opportunities and fostering investments in the virtual asset sector, ADGM Authority CEO Salem Al Darei said. “We remain committed to enhancing Abu Dhabi’s digital asset landscape and actively supporting the diversification of our thriving economy.”

In November 2022, the ADGM awarded cryptocurrency exchange Binance an FSP after being granted in-principle approval from the financial watchdog in April.

Subsequently, cryptocurrency exchange Rain received similar regulatory permission in July this year to operate virtual assets brokerage and custody services to UAE users.