Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority has licensed two cryptocurrency exchanges: Binance and FTX. The regulator was formed last week when Dubai approved its first law to regulate crypto assets.

Dubai Licenses Binance and FTX

Cryptocurrency exchanges FTX and Binance have been licensed by Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). The regulator was established last week when the first law to regulate crypto assets was adopted in Dubai.

Binance announced Wednesday:

We have been granted a virtual asset license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).

With this license, “Binance will be able to operate within Dubai’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ virtual asset market model as a base for expansion into the region,” the company explained.

“All licensed VARA service providers will be monitored progressively to open access to the retail market,” Binance noted, adding that in the future, it “will be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers.”

Binance further revealed:

In addition to exchange operations, Binance will anchor a blockchain technology hub in the Dubai World Trade Centre.

This week, Binance also said that it has obtained a full license from the central bank of Bahrain.

The Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority has also approved the European arm of FTX exchange. The company said earlier this week that FTX Europe & MENA has become the first crypto exchange to obtain a license from VARA “to establish and operate its virtual asset (VA) exchange and clearinghouse services in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

FTX detailed:

As an anchor within Dubai’s programme to drive progressive global VA regulatory frameworks, FTX Europe becomes the first fully regulated VA exchange to trial complex crypto derivatives dedicated to professional institutional investors within a reputed international jurisdiction.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried commented:

FTX is proud to be the first licensee under Dubai’s prudential supervision regime.

Similar to Binance, FTX explained that the license allows it “to operate within Dubai’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ VA market model which has rigorous regulatory oversight and mandatory FATF [Financial Action Task Force] compliance controls.”

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