UAE Compliance Update: Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority Issues First VASP MVP License
Under its MVP license FTX’s VA Exchange can provide regulated crypto derivatives products and trading services to qualified institutional investors across the region. In addition, the license also grants FTX permission to act as a clearing house, operate an NFT marketplace, and provide custodial services under tightly prescribed parameters for specific class of consumers. FTX Founder acknowledged that the license is subject to rigorous regulatory oversight and mandatory FATF compliance controls that are in-line with the requirements of Tier 1 international financial markets.
H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre, where VARA is located, is reported as describing VARA’s current fit-for-purpose operating model as “based on a unique test-scale-adapt principle designed for secure and sustainable growth, reflective of Dubai’s commitment to creating a globally interoperable model for the ‘future economy’”.
H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri clarified that the MVP Phase is exclusive to “select, responsible international players”, and will allow VARA to prudently structure guidelines and risk mitigation levers for secure commercial operations.
To date VARA has issued 33 provisional licenses in the categories of native crypto exchanges (12), native crypto-content DLT platforms (4), DeFi custodians (4), DeFi asset managers (5), Defi financial services (4) and other Defi Services (4). Provisional licensees for crypto exchanges include: Binance, BitOasis, ByBit, CoinMena, Coinmetro, Crypto.com, GCEX, Huobi, MidChains, Rain and OKX.
Partnering with VARA in developing its regulatory framework are leading blockchain intelligence and analytics companies such as Chain analysis, Elliptic, Anchain,ai and Confirm.
Further information is available at www.vara.ae.
Associate Director of Compliance