BitOasis has been granted provisional approval to operate in Dubai by the emirate’s new digital asset regulator.
Earlier this month, Dubai enacted its first law governing digital assets, establishing the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) to oversee the burgeoning sector. BitOasis said the authority would allow it to continue operations in Dubai while it applied for a full VARA license.
Until now, BitOasis had been registered with the central bank, reporting anti-money laundering issues to the bank’s financial intelligence unit.
Founded in Dubai in 2015, the Middle East-focused cryptocurrency exchange based in the United Arab Emirates serves English and Arabic-speaking customers in the region.
Dubai pushes to become regional hub
The move is the latest in a string of approvals as the UAE pushes to become the regional hub for the digital asset sector. In separate statements earlier this week, both Bybit and Crypto.com said that they had received similar approval from the local authority and would be expanding into Dubai.
In addition to receiving provisional approval to conduct business with virtual assets in Dubai, Bybit also confirmed that it plans to set up its global headquarters in the city by next month. Meanwhile, Crypto.com also announced that it is establishing a regional office in Dubai, as part of its long-term commitment to the UAE.
Prior to these announcements, the emirate also granted virtual asset licenses to Binance and FTX Europe. “Binance will be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers,” the company said.
Binance also plans to base a blockchain technology hub out of the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), with whom it started working last year to develop an international virtual asset ecosystem in the city.
As for FTX Europe, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said it plans to establish a regional headquarters in the city and offer “crypto-derivatives products with centralized counterparty clearing to institutional markets.”
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