Dubai’s Crypto Oversight Body Slaps OPNX with Hefty Fines

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Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) recently imposed a substantial fine on the cryptocurrency entity OPNX. This project was initiated by the founders of the now-defunct Three Arrows Capital (3AC).

OPNX Yet to Clear Its Dues

Although the senior officials of the project have settled their respective fines, OPNX remains delinquent. VARA is deliberating over potential actions against this defaulting platform. On May 2, VARA publicized that OPNX hadn’t fulfilled its obligation of a 10 million AED ($2.72 million) fine for market violations.

Simultaneously, Leslie Lamb, the CEO of OPNX, Su Zhu, and Kylie Davies, founders of 3AC, together with OPNX’s co-founder Mark Lamb, were each slapped with a 200,000 AED ($54,450) penalty. These fines were tied to infractions concerning marketing, advertising, and promotional norms. Notably, each individual has squared their accounts with VARA.

OPNX’s Controversial Emergence

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April 2023 marked the inauguration of OPNX, which immediately drew skepticism from cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The root of such distrust stems from Zhu and Davies’ association with a prior cryptocurrency initiative that folded, resulting in considerable financial repercussions for investors. Presently, OPNX boasts an average daily trading volume of $102 million, demonstrating its significant market presence.

After the above events, OPNX broadcasted its alliance with a new venture capital entity named 3AC Ventures. This entity remains distinct from the dissolved 3AC hedge fund. Davies articulated, “3AC is no more, but 3AC Ventures thrives.”

Contrary to expectations, the venture capital fund’s introduction was met with a lukewarm response. As per its official statement, the fund pledges “exceptional risk-adjusted returns sans leverage.”

Prior Warnings from VARA

Before levying these penalties, VARA censured several key players: Zhu, Davies, Lambs, and Sudhu Arumugan. Their offenses? Executing unsanctioned operations in Dubai and advertising the project without obtaining regulatory consent.

With OPNX’s continued negligence towards its financial obligations, VARA is gearing up to initiate more stringent measures. The regulatory body’s official statement reads:

“VARA will ascertain the appropriate subsequent steps for OPNX, ranging from additional fines to seeking legal recourse, ensuring the behavior is aptly addressed.”

The evolving situation between VARA and OPNX paints a vivid picture of the intricate dynamics of crypto regulation in Dubai. It highlights the necessity of compliance in the ever-evolving digital asset landscape.

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