Crypto exchange OKX’s Dubai subsidiary received a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) for crypto exchange operation.
While the company was awarded the license, OKX highlighted that it would remain “non-operational” until it could fulfill the regulator’s requirements.
Rifad Mahasneh, OKX’s general manager for the Middle East and North Africa region, said that the company is working to complete the requirements and expects the license to be operational in a few months.
Once operational, OKX Middle East will be allowed to offer regulated VASP services, including “spot and fiat trading services, AED deposits and withdrawals, and spot trading pairs.” Mahasneh explained that the services will be available to retail and institutional users.
In March 2022, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s prime minister and ruler, approved a new virtual assets law, establishing a legal framework for crypto in Dubai.
The ruler also appointed VARA to have enforcement powers in its special development and free zones, excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Mahasneh praised VARA’s license application process and said it was facilitated efficiently. According to the executive, the regulator demonstrated its effectiveness in regulating the local virtual assets sector.
Mahasneh also believes that the collaboration between OKX and VARA highlights the importance of well-defined regulations when promoting “responsible growth” within the crypto space.