Dubai Disapproves of 3AC Founders’ New Crypto Exchange

Despite the regulator’s reprimand, OPNX CEO Leslie Lamb told Blockworks that the exchange has no Dubai or UAE clients.

Co-founders of the controversial (and bankrupt) cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital have promoted their new exchange OPNX in Dubai without a local license.

The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) of Dubai punished them for promoting their cryptocurrency exchange, OPNX, without enforcing proper restrictions for local residents.

Tuesday’s notice indicates that VARA became aware of OPNX soliciting and collecting personal information from the public in February. In response, the regulator issued the proprietors a cease and desist order last month.

VARA stated, “OPNX launched the exchange on, providing VA Exchange services — a regulated activity under the VARA regime — without obtaining any regulatory licences, thus operating in violation of local laws.”

UAE residents still appeared to have access to OPNX’s promotions and marketing communications despite the application of certain restrictions.

Open Exchange (OPNX) is the latest creation of 3AC co-founders Kyle Davies and Su Zhu, as well as the two builders of the collapsed exchange CoinFLEX. Four individuals received written reprimands from Dubai’s VARA and OPNX CEO Leslie Lamb.

OPNX reportedly has raised $25 million in investment capital, according to its founders. Davies and Zhu relocated from Singapore to Dubai after their crypto hedge fund failed in June of last year, where they reportedly attempted to establish a new operational center.

According to Leslie Lamb of Blockworks, OPNX was launched in Hong Kong, and the exchange had taken steps to prevent UAE residents from accessing the site and signing up.

OPNX aspires to be a venue not only for trading cryptocurrencies but also for crypto-related bankruptcy claims. There is reportedly a $20 billion market for crypto claims, which OPNX intends to exploit.

It focuses on bankrupt asset claims and allows creditors to “unleash their locked claims directly into crypto or use them as margin capital,” as per its website.

The authority’s action against OPNX is indicative of a broader trend among emirate authorities towards taking a more harsh approach towards cryptocurrencies as the area strives to position itself as an industry hub.

Also Read: The CrvUSD Stablecoin Was Released On The Sepolia Testnet Prior To The Debut Of Ethereum’s Mainnet