Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has taken action against local crypto exchange BitOasis, suspending its conditional MVP license due to regulatory non-compliance. The suspension comes after BitOasis failed to meet the necessary requirements within the designated timeframes.
The MVP license, which stands for Minimally Viable Product license, only allows limited market operations and does not permit full operations in Dubai’s crypto market. VARA has now stated that BitOasis cannot apply for the Full Market Product (FMP) License until it fulfills the required conditions. Additionally, the exchange’s License for Institutional and Qualified Retail Investors remains non-operational.
VARA has emphasized that it will continue to monitor BitOasis’ compliance with regulatory benchmarks and remedial actions. The authority also emphasized that this market alert should supplement, not replace, the due diligence performed by individual investors.
This recent development sheds light on both the permissive and restrictive regulatory environment for crypto in Dubai. In April 2023, another crypto exchange, OPNX, received a reprimand from Dubai for operating without a license, leading to a cease-and-desist order.
Despite these regulatory actions, Dubai and the broader United Arab Emirates (UAE) are often viewed as crypto-friendly regions. Coinbase and Ripple have recently considered the UAE as a potential overseas base. Other firms, such as Bybit, Crypto.com, OKX, and Binance, have obtained Dubai’s MVP license and are currently allowed to operate in the area.
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