BitOasis, a Middle East-focused crypto exchange based in UAE, has received provisional approval from the newly formed Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara), as the UAE pushes to become a center for the virtual asset sector.
Recently, Dubai awarded virtual asset licenses to Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and FTX Europe, which will set up a regional headquarters in the city. Earlier this week, Global exchanges like Singapore-based Bybit and Crypto.com said that they are also establishing operations in the region.
BitOasis, which was founded in 2015, serves English and Arabic speaking customers in the Gulf and the Middle East, will continue operations in Dubai while it applies for a full VARA license, the company said.
The company had been registered with the central bank and was reporting on anti-money laundering (AML) issues to the bank’s financial intelligence unit before coming under VARA. BitOasis has carried out cryptocurrency trades worth more than $4 billion till date.
“Dubai is our home and we are excited to be working with the world’s first specialized regulator for the VA sector. Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is a diverse market with citizens and expatriates from many corners of the world – we will continue to strive to offer our customers the most customized platform for their local needs in accordance with regulations that will best protect them both now and as the industry evolves. We look forward to BitOasis and international entrants further developing best global, regional and local practice.”
As the first Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) to operate from Dubai, BitOasis is a fully operational model which will share experience-based insights on UAE-specific operational, AML and CFT practices with VARA to assist in the development of the new VASP regulatory framework.
Dubai VARA will serve as the single custodial authority mandated to license and govern the booming sector in Dubai, including all mainland and free zones, excluding the autonomous Financial Free Zone, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Related: Cryptocurrency exchange Bybit to set up its global HQ in Dubai