Digital asset custody platform Tungsten gets operational license from FSRA

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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UAE-headquartered Tungsten has received a license from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) to operate at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Tungsten is the first UAE-built and regulated custody platform purposely designed to store digital assets securely for institutional investors. Over 12 months to July 2023, the value of digital assets received by the UAE was over $34.9 billion (Chainalysis).

Approximately 67 percent, or around $23 billion in transactions, was carried out by institutional investors, demonstrating a significant opportunity for specialist digital assets custody.

Typically, investors face operational risks in managing the complexity of digital assets in-house and the potential for uninsured asset loss, as Hacken research estimates that 70 percent of crypto wallets have security gaps. Investors also face counterparty risks when outsourcing custody to exchanges and OTC brokers.

With state-of-the-art systems and rigorous controls, Tungsten’s security aligns with the most stringent standards governments, institutions, banks and federal reserves set. As a regulated custodian, Tungsten aims to provide peace of mind for institutions investing in digital assets, including cryptocurrency. 

Arvind Ramamurthy_Tungsten gets license from FSRA
Arvind Ramamurthy
Chief of Market Development

“We congratulate and welcome Tungsten to Abu Dhabi’s international financial center, ADGM. As much as the ever-evolving digital asset space needs regulatory controls to protect investors, it also needs risk management services that enable them to understand and invest securely. The concept of Tungsten revolves around this and allows it to harness the opportunities within this industry. As custodian of virtual assets, Tungsten’s offerings, coupled with ADGM’s vibrant ecosystem and progressive regulations for digital assets, will empower investors and maintain market integrity with robust solutions.”

Chris Desjardins, Tungsten Founder and Senior Executive Officer said that, Digital assets present unprecedented opportunities across generations, yet the cornerstone of realizing their potential lies in establishing a trusted investment environment. The UAE is at the forefront of this transformation, crafting a robust framework for digital assets that not only sets a global benchmark but also positions it as a pioneering force in the finance sector of tomorrow. Our immense pride stems from being developed and regulated within the UAE, a testament to our commitment to excellence and innovation in this dynamic landscape.”

Tungsten provides secure, regulated custody so clients can confidently invest in digital assets. It is led by Chris Desjardins, an industry veteran with deep knowledge and experience in building and growing digital assets and cryptocurrency solutions. Previously, he co-founded Big Index, a Canadian institutional crypto wallet technology provider successfully acquired by Brane Inc., where he became Head of Product. Through his leadership, Tungsten sets an unparalleled benchmark for digital asset custody.

Tungsten is independent and segregated from other digital asset services, such as the trading of crypto assets, focusing purely on safeguarding clients’ digital assets. The business ensures secure online and offline procedures, including bank-grade physical vaults, enterprise-grade wallet management and world-class network hardware. Additionally, clients benefit from strong governance and high insurance coverage, providing utmost reassurance to institutional investors.

Over 2024, Tungsten will scale customer acquisition, catering to a growing demand from regional institutional investors, family offices, asset managers, and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). The team will also make strategic hires across key functions and invest in technology to fortify its world-class security.

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