Crypto Exchange OKX Receives Approval of Preparatory License in Dubai

An official report issued by the Seychell-based crypto exchange OKX revealed that Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority green-lighted minimal viable product preparatory (MVP)license. Initially, the OKX team had announced plans to broaden its market presence to the Middle East.

Following the approval of MVP, the OKX team revealed plans to recruit new talent to fill 30 vacant positions. The OKX team confirmed to have opened a regional office at the World Trade Center.

OKX Expands to Dubai

In July 2022, the market regulators in the region approved the OKX provisional operating license, which allowed the crypto exchange to provide digital assets, products and services in the Middle East.

A statement issued by head of government relations Tim Byun revealed that acquiring the Dubai license was crucial for OKX’s global regulatory compliance. Byun mentioned the uncertainty in the crypto market obliges the crypto firms to comply with the VASP requirements to provide secure and transparent services. He added that there was a need to have clear regulations on crypto assets.

In a separate report, the OKX global chief commercial officer Lennix Lai argued that the regulated entities hold the future of digital assets and capital markets. Lai applauded the efforts made by Dubai authority and VARA in creating a friendly environment that positions the VASP  at a pivotal point to blossom.

He added that OKX Dubai would provide local and senior managers with employment opportunities. Lai confirmed that the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has enormous potential to boost the growth of Web3 and the crypto sector. He mentioned that OKX is seeking to expand to the thriving ecosystem in the region.

OKX Receive Preparatory License in Dubai

Reflecting on the June 15 announcement, the OKX team argued that the MVP license allowed the crypto firm to comply with Dubai’s specific set of rules. Afterwards, the regulator will officially allow OKX to operate entirely in the region.

In their announcement, the OKX team plans to offer a range of crypto products, including spotting services, spot -pairs and other derivatives platforms. Beyond this, the OKX team will offer fiat services, including the US dollar currency and the United Arab Emirates Dirham depository and withdrawal services.

According to OKX, the crypto exchange plans to seek strategic partnerships in the Middle East to widen its market presence. The OKX team plans to introduce activation and other activities that will increase the brand value in the Arab country.

Scope of VARA Regulations

In March, the regulators in Dubai introduced the Virtual Assets Regulation law that outlines the legal framework for crypto assets. This regulation was drafted to protect the consumer and investors in the crypto space. Additionally, the regulators invested in formulating the bill to ensure the operation of Dubai crypto firms meets global standards.

Afterwards, the regulators launched VARA, which outlines the regulatory approach applied by the emirates to supervise the operation of special development zones and free zones in Dubai.

 The VARA has been tasked with licensing duties and financial control of the financial sector. Since establishing VARA, the regulators have provided a well-detailed procedure to offer specific digital assets and measures to address the market risks.

Before the entrance of OKX to the Middle East, the crypto exchange had announced plans to exit the Canadian market to pursue suitable markets overseas. In an earlier report, the OKX team confirmed winding down operation in Canada by June 22.

The OKX move replicates the action taken by Paxos and Binance to exit Canada due to regulatory pressure.

Besides the efforts made by OKX to expand to the global market, the largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume in the US, Coinbase has recently announced plans to enter the UAE market. The Coinbase team lamented that the ongoing regulatory clampdown had compelled the crypto exchange to seek promising opportunities overseas.

Recently Coinbase and Binance have been making headlines following the lawsuit filed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

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