Virtual asset trading platform Matrix, this week launched as the first regulated virtual asset multilateral trading facility (MTF) and custodian under the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) virtual asset policy framework. It is licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which consists of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, is experiencing a fast-growing demand for virtual asset investment and adoption. The GCC experienced 400 per cent growth in alternative finance investments between 2013 and 2016, according to Global Findex. In 2018, the UAE launched the Emirates Blockchain Strategy, which aims to transform 50 per cent of government transactions into the blockchain platform by the end of this year. Also in 2018 Abu Dhabi introduced a comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets.
Designed to service both retail and institutional customers alike with its secure and stress-tested platform, the trading platform enables investors across the globe to buy, sell, and hold virtual assets, and offers institutional-grade hot and cold storage. A team of more than 40 technical, operational, regulatory, and legal experts is behind the launch, and Matrix has already partnered with Nasdaq, Silvergate Bank, Bitgo, Elliptic, and KPMG.
“We are incredibly excited to meet the skyrocketing demand for virtual asset investment opportunities in the GCC region and create a global market with the launch of Matrix,” said Vasja Zupan, president of Matrix and former COO of Luxembourg-based exchange Bitstamp. “The ADGM policy framework, among the highest regulatory standards in the world, allows Matrix to achieve global reach, offering the top-notch security of a regulated environment.”
“The lack of fiat-to-virtual asset on and off ramps have been a major source of friction for investors around the world,” added James Wo, chairman of Matrix and founder of Digital Finance Group (DFG), which is backing the trading platform. “We are very pleased to meet the rapidly growing demand for access to fiat currency conversions via virtual asset investments with the launch of Matrix. The UAE has been a trailblazer when it comes to instituting regulations that are favorable to innovation and investment, and we are appreciative for the support of the FSRA in this launch.”