OneDegree expands digital asset coverage to UAE

Expansion includes a new entity in Dubai and recruiting local talent

OneDegree expands digital asset coverage to UAE


By Kenneth Araullo

OneDegree is expanding its operations to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through a collaboration with Dubai Insurance Company as part of Hong Kong’s broader initiative to enhance business relations with the Middle East.

The insurtech, in partnership with Dubai Insurance Company, aims to offer various insurance types required by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority’s (VARA) new cryptocurrency regulatory framework in Dubai. These include commercial crime insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and directors and officers (D&O) insurance.

Alvin Kwock Yin-lun, co-founder and chief executive of OneDegree, shared in a recent interview with the SCMP that the partnership involves jointly insuring digital asset firms in the UAE. The expansion includes setting up a new entity in Dubai and recruiting local talent.

The move also aligns with the UAE’s economic growth strategies and interest in digital asset expertise, as indicated by Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE’s economy minister, during his visit to Hong Kong for the Belt and Road Summit in September.

The collaboration is timely, considering Hong Kong’s efforts to deepen its business ties with the Middle East, highlighted by visits from the city’s chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu to Saudi Arabia and the UAE earlier this year.

Launched in 2021, OneInfinity, OneDegree’s digital-asset insurance service, caters to businesses like cryptocurrency exchanges, custodians, and wallet providers. Despite the challenges posed by the volatile nature of digital assets, including high-profile scandals in the cryptocurrency space, OneDegree has maintained a cautious approach. Kwock noted that the firm had accepted only a quarter of all insurance applications in the past two years.

OneDegree successfully raised a total of US$85 million over five funding rounds, with its most recent series B funding round in June bringing in US$27 million. Notable investors include Gobi Partners, Sun Hung Kai, and Bitrock.

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