TL;DR: OKX, the second-largest crypto exchange, has obtained an MVP Preparatory license from VARA, allowing OKX Middle East to offer regulated virtual asset services in Dubai. The expansion includes spot, derivatives, and fiat services for institutional and qualified retail customers.
OKX Middle East Secures MVP Preparatory License for Regulated Crypto Services
OKX, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has announced that its subsidiary OKX Middle East has received a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) Preparatory license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This license will enable OKX Middle East to undertake MVP operations within the VARA regime, allowing it to offer spot, derivatives, and fiat services to institutional and qualified retail customers, including deposits, withdrawals, and spot-pairs in USD and AED.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a crucial growth and business hub for OKX, and the company plans to expand its operations in the region. As part of its expansion effort, OKX has opened a new office in Dubai and aims to increase its Dubai-based staff to 30 employees, with a focus on local hires and senior management.
OKX also intends to extend its brand partnerships, which include Manchester City Football Club, McLaren Racing, and the Tribeca Festival, to the UAE through customer and fan-focused activities.
Lennix Lai, OKX Global Chief Commercial Officer, highlighted the significance of regulated entities in the future of digital assets and capital markets. He emphasized the potential of the MENA region as a center of excellence for Web3 and virtual assets and expressed enthusiasm about expanding the ecosystem in the region.
Tim Byun, OKX Global Head of Government Relations, praised Dubai and VARA as world leaders in crypto regulation, commending their comprehensive framework for virtual assets and Web3.
Byun emphasized the importance of licensing in Dubai for OKX’s global regulatory compliance strategy, stating that in the current market environment, VASPs (Virtual Asset Service Providers) must prioritize security, transparency, compliance, and strong regulation to instill confidence in operators and customers alike.
Haider Rafique, OKX Chief Marketing Officer, discussed the company’s measured and transparent approach, highlighting its commitment to publishing proof of reserves for seven consecutive months, distinguishing OKX as the only crypto exchange globally with that commitment.
He also mentioned OKX’s focus on innovation in the Web3 space and the launch of new security features while ensuring market depth. Rafique emphasized the company’s commitment to doing things the right way, aligning with their brand partners’ values.