Dubai’s VARA approves OKX ‘preparatory’ license as part of exchange’s expansion plans

OKX Receives Regulatory Freedom to Operate in Dubai

OKX’s Middle Eastern branch announced that Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) had issued it a minimal viable product preparatory license in order to facilitate its growth in the region.

In a June 15 notice, OKX announced that, upon receiving approval from the regulator, they intend to expand their staff to 30 people in Dubai and have already opened an office in the World Trade Center building. In July 2022, VARA granted OKX a provisional operating license, permitting them to provide products and services in the area.

“Tim Byun, OKX’s global head of government relations, emphasized that licensing in Dubai is a key factor in OKX’s worldwide regulatory compliance plan. In today’s volatile market, it is essential for virtual asset service providers to be secure, open, compliant, and supported by solid, explicit regulation.”

OKX reported that the preparatory license they were given granted them the necessary regulatory freedom to fulfill the criteria necessary for them to start operations. They announced that they will be offering spot, derivatives, fiat services, as well as U.S. dollar and United Arab Emirates dirham deposits, withdrawals, and spot pairs.

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Global crypto companies, such as Coinbase, have been looking into the UAE as a possible new market as the United States’ regulators and legislators become more stringent with digital assets. In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought legal action against both Coinbase and Binance, and New York Attorney General Letitia James prohibited CoinEx from working in the state.

In March, OKX declared its intention to discontinue operations in Canada by June 22, although they stated this was only a “temporary” withdrawal. Other crypto exchanges, such as Binance and Paxos, have also made similar announcements about their departure from Canada, due to the regulations of the nation.

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