In a significant development for the cryptocurrency industry in the Middle East, Crypto.com’s Dubai entity has been granted a Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) license by the city’s regulatory body, pending operational approval. The announcement was made in a press release on November 14, wherein Crypto.com expressed its anticipation for full approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). Upon approval, Crypto.com’s local business, CRO DAX Middle East FZE, will be authorized to offer a range of services to both retail and institutional investors, including exchange, broker-dealer, and lending and borrowing services.
Kris Marszalek, the CEO of Crypto.com, conveyed his enthusiasm for collaborating with regulators to contribute to the growth of Dubai’s crypto industry. He highlighted Dubai’s status as a leading market in crafting effective regulation, showcasing the city’s commitment to fostering innovation and compliance in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.
This development follows Crypto.com’s strategic decision in March 2022 to establish Dubai as its hub for the Middle East and North Africa. The company had previously received a provisional license from VARA in June 2022, followed by a minimal viable product (MVP) preparatory license in March of the current year, signaling its step-by-step progress in the regulatory landscape of the region.
Dubai’s emergence as a preferred destination for crypto businesses seeking legal clarity is notable, particularly in the face of increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States. Many firms are turning to Dubai due to its clear and supportive regulatory framework for crypto operations, making it an attractive jurisdiction and an emerging hub for digital assets in the Middle East.
Binance Dubai’s General Manager, Alex Chehad, emphasized the advantages of Dubai’s regulatory approach, contrasting it with the U.S. He noted that the clarity provided by Dubai and the United Arab Emirates has facilitated the establishment of permanent headquarters for large companies like Binance in the region, positioning Dubai as a favorable environment for crypto businesses looking for regulatory stability and support.