Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has imposed a significant fine of $2.7 million on crypto project OPNX, a venture linked to the former executives of Three Arrows Capital (3AC) hedge fund.
The penalties target not only the project but also its CEO and founders. Despite the executives settling their fines, OPNX remains unpaid, prompting VARA to consider further actions against the platform.
In a recently published enforcement notice on August 16, 2023, VARA disclosed that OPNX has yet to fulfill a fine of 10 million AED ($2.72 million) for a market offense, issued on May 2.
Additionally, the regulatory body fined OPNX CEO Leslie Lamb, along with 3AC founders Su Zhu and Kylie Davies, and co-founder Mark Lamb, a penalty of 200,000 AED ($54,450) each on the same day for violations of marketing, advertising, and promotions regulations. The four individuals have promptly settled their fines.
OPNX’s debut in April 2023 drew significant criticism from the crypto community due to its association with Su Zhu and Kylie Davies, who were involved in a prior cryptocurrency project that experienced a collapse, leading to substantial investor losses.
Despite this, OPNX has managed to achieve an average daily trading volume of $102 million, with impressive 24-hour and seven-day trade volumes of $165.8 million and $715 million respectively.
In an attempt to redefine its image, OPNX announced a new ecosystem partner, the venture capital fund 3AC Ventures, distinct from the defunct hedge fund 3AC.
This move, however, encountered skepticism within the community. 3AC Ventures aims to offer “superior risk-adjusted returns without leverage,” as stated on its website.
Prior to the fines, VARA had reprimanded the individuals behind OPNX for engaging in unregulated activities within Dubai and for promoting and marketing OPNX to residents without proper regulatory approval.
Given OPNX’s failure to pay its imposed fine, VARA has signaled its intention to pursue further actions, which could potentially include more fines, penalties, or even legal recourse.