Provisional Regulatory Approval From VARA to GCEX in Dubai 

Digital brokerage, GCEX  (GCEX Group) is expanding into the MENA region with the opening of a Dubai office and the appointment of former Regional Director of CFH Turkey (now Finalto), Mehtap Önder, as Managing Director, GCEX MENA.

GCEX’s launch in Dubai follows on from the firm being granted provisional regulatory approval by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority in Dubai (VARA) in April 2022 to operate as a crypto exchange. The firm is now in the process of applying for a license, in accordance with VARA requirements.

This follows hot on the heels of GCEX’s announcement in June 2022 of its regulatory approval by the FSA in Denmark as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) and a Currency Exchange. The firm is also regulated by the UK’s FCA.

GCEX enables brokers, funds and professional traders to access deep liquidity in digital assets, and also offers a range of technology solutions. Its modular ‘Crypto In A Box‘ plug and play trading solution comprises of a technology-agnostic platform, which covers regulation, custody, safety of funds, liquidity and technology (both backend and frontend).

Dubai has made great strides towards establishing itself as a hub for the Virtual Asset (VA) industry. As the first and only jurisdiction globally to set-up a specialist regulator dedicated to the Virtual Asset economy, Dubai’s VARA has been actively developing progressive parameters to enable a highly selective list of global participants establish themselves in their regime for the initial phase.

Lars Holst, Founder & CEO, GCEX commented, “Extending our crypto offering to the MENA region is a major milestone for the business. Receiving provisional regulatory approval from VARA in Dubai adds significant credibility to our offering and puts us in a strong position to become a dominant crypto exchange for institutional and professional clients in the region.”

“I am thrilled that Mehtap is joining GCEX to spearhead our growth across MENA. Having worked with her for almost eight years at CFH (now Finalto), I know she will be a huge asset to the firm. She has strong business acumen, excellent industry knowledge, and a proven track record in building strong client and team relationships. Mehtap has lived in Dubai for the last four years, has a great network of institutional clients, and a deep understanding of the regulatory and client requirements in the region.”

Mehtap Önder Appointed as Managing Director, GCEX MENA

Mehtap Önder has over 15 years of experience in the financial services sector. She spent eight years at CFH (now Finalto), a global Prime of Prime, which was co-founded by Lars Holst, taking it from a start-up to USD 120M exit. At CFH, Mehtap was Regional Director (Turkey) for five years and, prior to that, was the firm’s Head of Legal Onboarding. She joins GCEX from Waystone Compliance Solutions, a Dubai-based consultancy firm specializing in compliance, risk and governance.

Mehtap Önder, Managing Director, GCEX MENA.

In her new role, Mehtap Önder will be responsible for all operational aspects of the business in the MENA region. She said, “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to join a thriving business.  What GCEX has achieved to date in a relatively short period of time is exceptional. The business will be regulated in three jurisdictions, has secured investment from TGV4 Plus and has a rapidly growing global client base and offices in London, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.”

She added, “From working closely with Lars at CFH (now Finalto), I have witnessed first-hand his ability to grow a global business. I am excited to be joining his team and working closely with him to scale GCEX across the MENA region. Dubai is at the forefront of the crypto market, so this is an ideal location for GCEX to be based in. Our presence in the VARA ecosystem will be key to attracting institutional and professional clients, highlighting our focus on investor protection.”

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