OKX Receives “Preparatory” License from Dubai’s VARA


The license signals OKX’s ambition to establish a robust presence in the Middle Eastern region.

The cryptocurrency exchange OKX has successfully obtained a minimal viable product preparatory license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

In a statement issued on June 15th, OKX made it clear that the VARA’s approval is one of the crucial steps toward their regional expansion. The company revealed plans to grow its Dubai workforce to 30 and has already opened an office at the city’s World Trade Center.

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The preliminary license from VARA is a successor to the temporary operating license issued to OKX in July 2022, which allowed the firm to offer various products and services in the region.

With the new licensing, OKX intends to provide spot and derivatives services, fiat services, and facilities for deposits, withdrawals, and spot pairs in US dollars and United Arab Emirates dirham.

According to Tim Byun, OKX’s Global Head of Government Relations, acquiring licensing in Dubai is at the center of their worldwide regulatory compliance blueprint.

In today’s uncertain market environment, it’s of the utmost importance for VASPs <virtual asset service providers> to be highly secure, transparent, compliant and backed by strong, clear regulation.

OKX’s venture into the Middle East follows an announcement of a temporary break from operations in Canada, due to take effect on June 22nd. Similar regulatory-driven exits have been reported by other crypto exchanges like Binance and Bybit, all citing regulatory shifts in Canada.

Global players in the crypto arena, such as Coinbase, have been investigating the potential of the UAE market in light of tightening regulations and scrutiny from lawmakers in the United States. Recently, separate lawsuits were filed against both Coinbase and Binance by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

OKX’s strategic expansion into Dubai and its effort to adhere to the regional regulations show a strong commitment to enhancing its global reach and regulatory compliance amid challenging regulatory landscapes.

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