M2 granted full license to operate multilateral trading facility in UAE

abdelaziz Fathi

Cryptocurrency exchange M2 has been approved as a fully regulated Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and custodian, now authorized to engage with UAE retail and institutional clients.

As per the recent updates, M2’s offerings in the UAE include crypto custody, trading of Bitcoin and Ether with the UAE dirham, and on/off-ramp services for the currency. The CEO of M2, Stefan Kimmel, described the timing of the license issuance as advantageous, coinciding with the resurgence of positive sentiment among investors.

M2 has launched its international platform for both institutional and retail investors to trade and maintain custody of virtual assets, after receiving financial services permission from the Abu Dhabi Global Market in August. The exchange is offering a product called M2 Earn, promising yields of up to 10.5 percent on Bitcoin and Ethereum. Additionally, the platform features an Earn calculator and a Smart Trading function to facilitate large transactions.

Beyond the Bahamas Securities Commission license as a digital assets business, M2’s subsidiaries have also been licensed by the ADGM to operate as an MTF and provide custody services. M2 is pursuing further licenses in different global jurisdictions.

The exchange has drawn public attention from Kevin O’Leary, a Canadian businessman and media personality, who has praised M2 on Fox Business. O’Leary said that M2 could set a new standard for exchanges in terms of compliance, stability, and ownership transparency, especially in the wake of the FTX collapse—an exchange he had been affiliated with as an ambassador.

Before securing financial services permission, the M2 platform and other applicants underwent an in-principle approval (IPA) process, which established the conditions they needed to meet for regulatory approval.

Abu Dhabi has one of the most sophisticated regulatory frameworks for digital assets providing clarity for entrepreneurs and their customers. In terms of the fintech landscape in the Middle East, the UAE in particular is already showing strong signs of support for fintech, as well as some early success stories.

The Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Foundations Regulations 2023 have been introduced to provide clear regulatory guidance for blockchain foundations, Web3 companies, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and traditional foundations venturing into DLT. These regulations outline the process for establishing a “DLT Foundation,” including the submission of a detailed charter and various foundational documents.

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