Dubai Regulator Fines 3AC Founders’ New Exchange $2.7M
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Dubai Regulator Fines 3AC Founders’ New Exchange $2.7M

Dubai's top financial regulator VARA issued a $2.7 million fine to OPNX in May. The fine was imposed in May and remains unpaid.
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OPNX, a crypto exchange for claims founded by Three Arrows Capital (3AC) co-founders, has been fined by Dubai’s top regulator for $2.7 million. The penalty imposed in May remains unpaid while the company’s co-founders, including Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, were separately fined for failing to comply with marketing regulations. 

OPNX Co-Founders Fined More than $54,000

Financial regulators of Dubai fined the co-founders of the collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital over their newly launched digital asset exchange OPNX. According to Bloomberg, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) issued a fine of 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) in May, which is still unpaid.

The regulator stated that among those penalized were OPNX co-founders Su Zhu, Kyle Davies, and Mark Lamb, as well as CEO Leslie Lumb, for failing to comply with state marketing, advertising, and promotion rules. VARA said these specific penalties worth 200,00 dirhams ($54,451) have been paid. 

Regarding the unpaid portion of the fine, the regulator intends to “determine consequential actions warranted against OPNX, which may include further fines, penalties, and/or taking any actions necessary to recover payment and definitively remedy the behavior.”

The move comes after Dubai adopted a more rigorous approach to crypto regulation this year, introducing a new regime that requires firms servicing retail investors to obtain a license from VARA. The efforts are part of a broader effort by the United Arab Emirates to remove itself from the Financial Action Task Force’s “gray list” of jurisdictions that don’t take sufficient steps to reveal illicit money activity. 

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What is OPNX?

Zhu and Davies, co-founders of 3AC, teamed up with Mark Lamb and Sudhu Arumugam, founders of the crypto exchange CoinFlex, and launched OPNX in April 2023. The platform, which allows users to trade claims of bankrupt cryptocurrency firms, was developed to help the collapsed crypto firms such as FTX, Celsius, and others access their stuck funds, Leslie Lamb said upon the launch.

On its debut day, the exchange displayed a disappointing trading volume of just $13.64. However, OPNX’s daily trading volume rallied significantly in the coming months, hitting $30 million in late June. 

Not long after the launch, OPNX introduced a governance token dubbed “Open Exchange token (OX).” The token’s rollout significantly propelled OPNX’s trading volumes at the time. 

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Do you think OPNX will maintain the recent momentum in trading volumes? Let us know in the comments below.