Today digital asset custodian Komainu announced it received a minimal viable product (MVP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This means Komainu can provide institutions in the UAE with digital asset custody and virtual asset management services.
Komainu was founded in Jersey(UK) in 2018 by Nomura, crypto custody technology firm Ledger, and digital asset fund manager Coinshares.
“In this current phase of heightened global appreciation for responsible virtual asset participant, VARA is pleased to onboard our first tradFi VASP – Komainu to join the MVP phase of the regulatory regime,” said His Excellency Helal Saeed Al-Marri, Chairman of VARA.
Komainu launched in 2020 and raised a $25 million Series A funding round early last year that included Alan Howard of Elwood Asset Management*. Other investors include Galaxy Digital, NOIA Capital and Nomura Research Institute (NRI), all strategic partners.
In September, Nicolas Bertrand took over as CEO following a leadership role at Borsa Italiana.
On today’s VARA license, Bertrand commented, “Komainu actively works with regulators, partners, and our clients to make sure that our platform and the overall industry is held to the highest of standards to facilitate the wide adoption of virtual assets by institutions.”
Meanwhile, Nomura is consolidating its interests in the digital asset sector into Laser Digital Holdings, a new subsidiary established in Switzerland.
The list of TradFi institutional custodians is ever-expanding and includes Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody, BNY Mellon, State Street, BNP Paribas Securities Services (BNPP SS), Societe General Securities Services (SGSS) and SIX Digital Exchange.
* Elwood sold its asset management business to Coinshares and rebranded as Elwood Technologies in 2021 which is controlled by Alan Howard and owns the Komainu stock according to his spokesperson.