MANTRA and Zand Bank Sign MOU to Enhance UAE’s RWA Digital Asset Landscape

MANTRA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Zand Bank, to enhance the UAE’s digital asset ecosystem. This strategic partnership aims to develop robust regulatory frameworks that will pave the way for the wider adoption of compliant Real World Assets (RWAs) in the region.

Zand Bank: The Leading Digital Banking Innovator

Licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, Zand Bank is recognized for its ease, safety, and transparency in both retail and corporate digital banking. As the UAE’s first licensed digital bank, Zand combines extensive financial service experience with a commitment to continuous innovation. Their digital-first philosophy aligns seamlessly with MANTRA’s mission to bring real-world assets on-chain.

Leading the Way for VASPs in the UAE or Becoming One?

Zand Bank stands out as the primary commercial bank in the UAE allowing Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to open client bank accounts. Most VASPs in the UAE rely on Zand’s robust banking infrastructure, making it the backbone of the UAE’s burgeoning digital finance sector. According to insider information, the bank has obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the UAE Central Bank to venture into digital assets custody.

Joint Efforts for Compliant RWA Tokenization

MANTRA and Zand Bank will collaboratively define clear frameworks for RWA tokenization in compliance with the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). This partnership marks a significant step towards the seamless identification, listing, and distribution of real-world assets within the UAE.

“We are excited to leverage MANTRA’s RWA-focused blockchain to redefine how we transact and manage ownership. This collaboration represents a step forward in our journey to amalgamate blockchain technology with our robust financial offerings to give our clients greater control over their investments, enhanced security, and more clarity into the lifecycle of their transactions. We aim to simplify operations, reinforce trust and authenticity in the assets’ legality, and broaden access to the wider market,” said Michael Chan, CEO of Zand.

Ensuring Compliance and Investor Protection

The MOU emphasizes strict adherence to relevant standards, investor protection measures, and regulatory requirements. By doing so, MANTRA and Zand aim to eliminate hurdles, foster trust, and encourage widespread adoption of RWAs across the region.

Unlocking the Potential of RWA Tokenization

MANTRA’s dedication to regulatory compliance complements Zand Bank’s commitment to operating within the framework established by VARA. This shared vision creates a secure and trustworthy environment for RWAs in the UAE.

“The agreement between Zand and MANTRA is a testament to both companies’ position at the vanguard of digital finance in the Middle East. The vision behind the collaboration aims to catapult both the custody and exchange of real-world assets as a permanent fixture in the suite of retail banking services in the region, towards establishing industry standards for tokenization,” stated John Patrick Mullin, CEO of MANTRA.

Regulatory Landscape and Future Prospects

While UAE regulators have not yet established clear guidelines specifically for RWAs, many believe that existing regulations are capable of accommodating RWAs without the need for new ones. During one of Unlock Blockchain’s round tables in April, it was highlighted that blockchain technology holds significant potential to disrupt existing markets and expand distribution opportunities, especially for retail investors. However, regulatory concerns often arise as projects targeting retail investors must focus on token safety and investor protection.

The agreement between Zand and MANTRA positions both companies at the forefront of digital finance in the Middle East. Their collaboration aims to make the custody and exchange of real-world assets a permanent feature in retail banking services in the region, setting industry standards for tokenization.

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