Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) fined OPNX — the cryptocurrency project created by founders of the defunct digital asset hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) — along with the project’s founders and CEO, shortly after issuing a reprimand in May.
While the executives have paid their fine, VARA said OPNX is yet to make payment, with the regulator considering taking actions against the platform.
VARA Fined OPNX, CEO, and Founders $2.7M
In an enforcement notice published on Wednesday (Aug. 16, 2023), VARA revealed that OPNX was yet to pay a fine of 10 million AED ($2.72 million) issued against it on May 2 for a market offense.
The regulator also issued a penalty fine of 200,000 AED ($54,450) to OPNX CEO Leslie Lamb, 3AC founders Su Zhu and Kylie Davies, and OPNX co-founder Mark Lamb on the same day for violating marketing, advertising, and promotions regulations. According to VARA, all four individuals have fully paid their fines.
The launch of OPNX in April 2023 was met with criticisms from the crypto community, majorly because the platform was created by Zhu and Davies, who were behind a previous cryptocurrency project that collapsed and left investors with huge losses. Currently, OPNX’s average daily volume is $102 million, with a 24-hour trade volume of over $165.8 million and a seven-day trade volume of $715 million.
OPNX later went ahead to announce a new ecosystem partner, a venture capital fund called 3AC Ventures (separate from the defunct hedge fund 3AC), with Davies stating, “3AC is dead, long live 3AC Ventures.” The VC fund, which, unsurprisingly, was not well received by community members, offers “superior risk-adjusted returns without leverage,” according to its website.
Dubai Taking Tough Stance Against OPNX
Before the fines, VARA reprimanded Zhu, Davies, Mark Lamb, Leslie Lamb, and Sudhu Arumugan for carrying out unregulated activities in Dubai and for also promoting and marketing OPNX to residents without regulatory approval.
Meanwhile, the regulator is looking to take further actions against OPNX for its failure to pay its fine.
“Vara shall 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 including, but not limited to, referring the matter to any law enforcement agency(ies) or competent courts.”