United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based crypto asset exchange and custodian Arabian Bourse (ABX) — a joint venture from GMEX Group and Arshad Khan — has received initial regulatory approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The news was reported by financial news website Markets Media on June 6.

GMEX Group is a set of firms offering multi-asset exchange trading, post trade infrastructure and business and technology solutions. The Arabian Bourse project — established together with  regional exchanges founder Arshad Khan — aims to serve as a compliant, fully-regulated crypto asset exchange and custodian with a focus on international institutional and retail traders.

According to Markets Mediz, ABX implements technology from GMEX Group’s blockchain business, specifically its suite of “hybrid centralized and blockchain distributed ledger technology solutions,” dubbed GMEX Fusion.

GMEX Group and Arshad Khan are reportedly developing ABX as an “integrated ecosystem for crypto assets listing, trading and settlement with associated digital custody, depository and data services.” The forthcoming ecosystem will aim to bridge crypto activity in the Middle East and Northern Africa with other international crypto centers.

ABX is to be based in the Abu Dhabi Global Market Authorities Building — reportedly in order to benefit from the city’s proactive crypto asset regulatory framework, high concentration of international financial institutions, and the ostensibly rapidly developing crypto asset industry in the wider region.

As Cointelegraph has previously reported,  UAE-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis secured preliminary approval with financial regulators in mid-May of this year.

Data released by CoinSchedule this April indicated that the UAE had been the world’s biggest contributor to crypto token sales since the start of 2019 (raising over 25% of funds, or $210.5 million.

In September 2018, Richard Teng — head of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the ADGM, had called for more robust international regulation of cryptocurrencies, noting that “every time a coin gets stolen or lost, it affects the confidence in this asset class.”