Cryptocurrency platform OKX has received a provisional virtual-asset license from the Dubai authority. The exchange plans to set up a regional hub in the city, Bloomberg said on Thursday.
Crypto exchange OKX said on July 14 that it had been given a provisional virtual assets license by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which is regulating the local crypto industry.
Lately, the UAE has been pushing to develop virtual asset regulation to attract new forms of business as economic competition heats up in the Gulf region.
Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven emirates and the region’s business hub, March adopted its first law governing virtual assets and established VARA as a regulator for the sector.
“OKX‘s provisional license for Dubai allows it to extend certain exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and financial service providers,” the Seychelles-based company said in a statement. “OKX will also establish a regional hub in Dubai to contribute to developing the ever-expanding virtual asset ecosystem both in Dubai and globally.”
The Middle East and North Africa is one of the fastest growing markets for the crypto industry, Lennix Lai, OKX Dubai‘s general manager, said in the statement.
“OKX is committed to building out both its team and necessary infrastructure in the UAE,” he revealed, adding that the market had a growing local crypto ecosystem and “a balanced regulatory framework.”
Tim Byun, global government relations officer at OK Group, added: “Dubai is a pioneer when it comes to regulation of the virtual assets sector, and it is swiftly becoming one of the top global hubs for the industry.”
Lately, crypto giants are setting up the stage for a major push in the Middle East. Major crypto exchanges FTX and Binance have recently received new licenses to operate in Dubai and Bahrain.