GCEX opens Dubai office to help brokers enter digital asset space

Rick Steves

GCEX has announced it is expanding into the MENA region with the opening of a Dubai office. 

GCEX MENA has become a reality after being granted provisional regulatory approval by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority in Dubai (VARA) in April 2022 to operate as a crypto exchange. The firm is now in the process of applying for a license.

To head the new office, the digital brokerage appointed Mehtap Önder as Managing Director at GCEX MENA, where she will be responsible for all operational aspects of the business in the MENA region.

Mehtap Önder spent nearly eight years at Prime of Prime brokerage CFH Turkey (now Finalto) from 2011 to 2019, first as Legal & Compliance Officer, then Head of Legal Onboarding, before five years as Regional Director of the Turkish operation.

After a brief stint at Mondia Group as General Counsel, she joined Waistone Compliance Solutions as Compliant Consultant in Dubai, UAE. There, she specialized

GCEX approved in Dubai after Denmark and UK

GCEX enables brokers, funds and professional traders to access deep liquidity in digital assets and offers a range of technology solutions, including its flagship ‘Crypto In A Box‘ plug and play trading solution.

The white label solution comprises of a technology-agnostic platform that covers regulation, custody, safety of funds, liquidity, and technology (both backend and frontend).

The VARA authorization in Dubai follows the recent regulatory approval by the FSA in Denmark as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) and a Currency Exchange. The firm is also regulated by the UK’s FCA. Dubai is the only jurisdiction globally to set up a specialist regulator (VARA) dedicated to the Virtual Asset economy.

Lars Holst, Founder & CEO, GCEX commented: “Extending our crypto offering to the MENA region is a major milestone for the business. Receiving provisional regulatory approval from VARA in Dubai adds significant credibility to our offering and puts us in a strong position to become a dominant crypto exchange for institutional and professional clients in the region.”

“I am thrilled that Mehtap is joining GCEX to spearhead our growth across MENA. Having worked with her for almost eight years at CFH (now Finalto), I know she will be a huge asset to the firm. She has strong business acumen, excellent industry knowledge and a proven track record in building strong client and team relationships. Mehtap has lived in Dubai for the last four years, has a great network of institutional clients and a deep understanding of the regulatory and client requirements in the region.”

Mehtap Önder, Managing Director at GCEX MENA, commented: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to join a thriving business. What GCEX has achieved to date in a relatively short space of time is exceptional. The business will be regulated in three jurisdictions, has secured investment from TGV4 Plus, has a rapidly growing global client base and offices in London, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.”

“From working closely with Lars at CFH (now Finalto), I have witnessed first-hand his ability to grow a global business. I am excited to be joining his team and working closely with him to scale GCEX across the MENA region. Dubai is at the forefront of the crypto market so this is an ideal location for GCEX to be based in. Our presence in the VARA ecosystem will be key to attracting institutional and professional clients, highlighting our focus on investor protection.”

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