The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to welcome another crypto player to its territory. OKX is on the verge of further expansion into the Middle East after acquiring an operating license.
Accordingly, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has given the popular crypto service provider the green light to set up a base in the UAE.
With a provisional operating license, OKX is set to provide products and services to local financial institutions. The crypto service provider announced its plan to recruit about a hundred locals to kickstart its operation.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, created VARA in March. VARA is a set of guidelines and laws governing the activities of digital assets and their providers throughout the UAE.
OKX Hints at Regional Office
Not only is the crypto exchange after the VARA license, but it also revealed plans to open a regional center in Dubai for business. Once opened, the new regional hub will act as the head office of the company in the Middle East.
Lennix Lai, OKX’s regional manager, disclosed that the crypto exchange is determined to develop the digital asset space in the Emirates.
Lai noted that the Middle East is one of the world’s fastest-growing crypto hubs and is ideal for OKX’s business interests. The exchange is excited to be part of the thriving ecosystem and will play a role in expanding the Emirates crypto space.
OKX is not the first exchange to get VARA’s license and would not be the last. According to reports, other major exchanges like Binance, FTX, and Kraken have all been approved by VARA to operate in the UAE.
The decision-makers developed the concept of VARA as a regulatory mechanism to guide the industry. With the implementation of the guidelines, several crypto exchanges filed for approval
The UAE as an Emerging Digital Assets Hub
The region is fast becoming the destination of choice for big players in the crypto industry. The UAE plans to make the region a global force in crypto and the digital economy in the next few years.
VARA is viewed as the perfect regulation model in crypto as it seeks to strengthen transactions through laid-down rules.
Upon getting approval from VARA, crypto service providers must adhere strictly to the guidelines. The guidelines include several models, like testing and scaling products and services.
Moreover, VARA gives pre-qualified investors and licensed service providers limited goods and services to begin transactions. The virtual asset regulator then proceeds to monitor the activities of both entities in the market.
Once VARA is satisfied that investors and service providers are playing along, other retail players are given access.
Unlike other European and Asian countries with strict laws, the UAE is seen by many as having investor-friendly laws. Moreover, VARA is more than just a regulatory framework; it also emphasizes developing and scaling products and services.
Meanwhile, the Middle East powerhouse is also investing heavily in blockchain technology.