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Dubai grants full crypto license to Nomura’s Laser Digital

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Dubai has granted a full crypto license to Laser Digital, a crypto asset subsidiary of the Japanese financial services giant Nomura.

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  • Headquartered in Switzerland, Laser Digital has offices in Dubai and London.
  • Dubai has granted licenses to several crypto exchanges such as OKX, Rain and Binance.

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has granted a full crypto license to Laser Digital Middle East FZE. Laser Digital is the virtual asset division of the Japanese financial services giant Nomura.

Laser Digital is headquartered in Switzerland and has offices in Dubai and London.

Now that the UAE-based crypto platform has completed all four stages of the licensing process, it can offer crypto asset broker-dealer services and management and investment services to its customers.

Laser intends to provide over-the-counter (OTC) trading services and virtual asset investment products for institutional investors in the upcoming months.

Laser’s Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license comes after VARA made the scrutiny of crypto license seekers stricter earlier this year. The authorities in Dubai made the decision as the crypto industry witnessed the collapse of several large crypto exchanges, including FTX.

Dubai inviting several crypto exchanges following a licensing program

The blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis published a report in October 2022 focusing on crypto adoption across the world. It found that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was among the top adopters of crypto. The UAE emerged as a significant crypto hub in the study.

Since 2019, Dubai has made inroads into the blockchain space, with the Dubai Department of Economic Development moving its services to a blockchain-based registry on the Dubai Pulse blockchain platform.

Dubai’s VARA launched a licensing program earlier this year. VARA also stated that its latest anti-money laundering (AML) regulations restrict insider trading, unlawful disclosure, market manipulation, and the financing of terrorism and other unlawful organizations.

The acquisition of a crypto license has seen Laser Digital join a growing list of firms that are trying to establish themselves in the UAE’s crypto market. Several major crypto exchanges such as OKX, Rain and Binance have secured crypto licenses in Dubai in the last few months.


Saman Waris works as a News Editor at AMBCrypto. She has always been fascinated by how the tides of finance and technology shape communities across demographics. Cryptocurrencies are of particular interest to Saman, with much of her writing centered around understanding how ideas like Momentum and Greater Fool theories apply to altcoins, specifically, memecoins. A graduate in history, Saman worked the sports beat before diving into crypto. Prior to joining AMBCrypto 2 years ago, Saman was a News Editor at Sportskeeda. This was preceded by her stint as Editor-in-Chief at EssentiallySports.
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