Cryptocurrency custody and trading firm Copper plans to start offering a brokerage service for digital securities in Abu Dhabi early next year, the company said on Wednesday.
Copper Securities, the new entity offering execution and custody services, is working with the emirate's Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) to have the necessary approvals in place by early 2024.
The move has been facilitated by Copper’s recent acquisition of Securrency Capital, an Abu Dhabi-based division of the Securrency tokenization platform that was not included in the acquisition of Securrency Inc. by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC) in October.
Copper joins a growing cohort of crypto businesses looking to the United Arab Emirates, which offers greater regulatory clarity for digital assets than many other jurisdictions. Copper CEO Dmitry Tokarev referred to Abu Dhabi as "the capital of capital," pointing to the region’s accumulation of institutional assets.
"Abu Dhabi is more institutional and more focused around asset management, and that's exactly what Copper is; we only have institutional clients," Tokarev said in an interview. "While there isn't a huge retail market here, you will find all the big institutions, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds."
A steady convergence between traditional financial (TradFi) plumbing and blockchain technology is underway, as banks and asset managers push to tokenize traditional financial assets.
Copper Securities will offer things like automated processing of corporate actions, settlements, top-ups and rebalances, and there are plans to introduce securities financing, lending and payments applications over the coming year.
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