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OKX and Binance Expand Asian Footprint: Dubai License and Thailand Exchange Underway

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • OKX secures a Dubai Vara license, set to offer crypto services to UAE's retail and institutional clients.
  • Indian crypto firms migrate to Dubai, fleeing high taxes and strict regulations in India.
  • Binance launched its first Southeast Asian digital asset exchange in Thailand, opening it to the public in early 2024.
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OKX, one of the world’s largest exchanges, has been awarded a regulatory license in Dubai, marking a strategic expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This move aligns with the UAE’s ambition to become a global crypto industry. This vision is also supported by the establishment of Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara) in March 2022.

OKX Gets Green Light License for Dubai Expansion

Rifad Mahasneh, OKX’s General Manager for the MENA region, highlighted the significance of this expansion. Mahasneh commented:

“We are looking at this as a game changer because we are able now to target both retail and institutional clients in the UAE and allow them to deposit and withdraw in their local currency.”

He also mentioned the ongoing collaboration with Vara to meet certain conditions for an impending launch.

Read more: OKX Review 2024: A Comprehensive Guide to the Leading Crypto Exchange

This development is not just a milestone for OKX but also reflects a broader trend. Many Indian crypto firms are relocating to Dubai. This exodus is due to a regulatory environment that starkly contrasts with India’s stringent crypto regulations and high taxation.

Sumit Gupta, CEO of CoinDCX, remarked on this trend,

“A lot of Web3 founders prefer Dubai or Singapore as their hub because they have clarity and certainty around regulations and greater community support.”

Binance Launches Thailand-Approved Exchange

Meanwhile, Binance, another crypto powerhouse, is making its foray into Southeast Asia with the launch of a digital asset exchange in Thailand.

Currently, is an invite-only platform. It will launch to the public in early 2024. The venture is in partnership with Gulf Energy Development. It received approval from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, signaling a significant expansion of Binance’s global reach.

Read more: Binance Review 2024: Is It the Right Crypto Exchange for You?

However, the expansion into Thailand is not without its challenges. Crypto scams have been a major concern in the country. This has prompted Binance to collaborate with Thai law enforcement in combatting these criminal activities.

The exchange played a crucial role in two major operations, including “Operation Trust No One.” This operation targeted a ‘pig butchering’ scam, leading to the seizure of assets worth over $277M.

As OKX gears up to launch its services in the UAE and Binance sets its sights on Thailand, these moves represent a pivotal moment in the Asian crypto sector.

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Kyle Baird
Kyle migrated from the East Coast USA to South-East Asia after graduating from Pennsylvania's East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2010. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Kyle got his start buying stocks and precious metals in his teens. This sparked his interest in learning and writing about cryptocurrencies. He started as a copywriter for Bitcoinist in 2016 before taking on an editor's role at BeInCrypto at the beginning of 2018.