The recently formed European arm of crypto exchange FTX, FTX Europe, becomes the first company to be granted a license to operate its virtual asset exchange in Dubai, UAE.
According to the press release, FTX Europe will also establish a regional headquarter in Dubai upon the license approval.
The license permits FTX to operate inside Dubai’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ VA market model, which includes strict regulatory monitoring and compulsory FATF compliance procedures similar to those found in Tier 1 international financial markets.
The license comes less than a week after Dubai announced the formation of the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which would oversee the cryptocurrency sector and the new crypto law.
The VA Exchange License allows FTX to be the first provider of regulated trading and clearing services for crypto-specific derivatives, on trusted guardrails similar to those found on legacy markets like NASDAQ Dubai, ensuring transparency and investor security.
FTX Europe was launched last week to start offering services in Europe and the Middle East after securing approval from financial regulators in Cyprus–CySEC. It is headquartered in Switzerland with an additional base in Cyprus.
Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX CEO, stated “FTX receiving this approval is a continuation of our mission to be at the forefront of licensing and regulation around the world. We plan to continue playing a lead role in advancing the digital asset industry in countries that provide a robust regulatory framework, while also operating with the highest security, risk, and investor protection standards.”
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Center Authority that houses VARA, added “Licensing FTX within this specialist regime reflects our focus on enabling only the most credible global players that demonstrate a consistent commitment to future-proof this sector.”
FTX received the license just in time as Binance received the crypto-asset service provider license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). It has also been granted permission to be the first anchor at the Dubai World Trade Center.