Dubai: VARA Suspends Crypto Exchange BitOasis’ License

Lavina Daryanani
Source: Khaleej Times

Crypto exchange BitOasis was the first exchange to get an operational license in Dubai. However, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority [VARA] is currently reviewing the firm. As a part of its enforcement action, it has suspended the license of the crypto exchange. BitOasis was issued a conditional MVP License on April 12, 2023, that would permit market operations upon the firm’s fulfillment of key conditions over 30-60 day periods. Revealing what put BitOasis on the radar, the VARA’s official statement noted,

As a result of BitOasis not meeting these mandated conditions within the prescribed timelines, VARA has initiated warranted regulatory actions against the entity.

Also Read: Crypto Hubs 2023: Did Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong Make a Cut?

BitOasis’ license to remain non-operational: VARA

VARA clarified that the firm’s license for institutional and qualified retail investors remains “non-operational” until the conditions are fulfilled. Only once that is done, will BitOasis be able to apply for the Full Market Product [FMP] Licence. VARA will continue to monitor the situation. Another officially released statement noted,

VARA is exercising its authority to supervise and monitor compliance, assure fulfillment of prescribed conditions, impose remedial measures, and take necessary enforcement actions.

Owing to its crypto and digital asset friendliness, Dubai is considered to be one of the key global crypto hubs. Several companies have been fleeing to this region. Towards the end of last month, Bybit received the MVP Preparatory License from VARA. Prior to that, crypto exchanges OKX and also received their licenses. In fact, Ripple executive Brad Garlinghouse also revealed recently that the company is looking to expand to Dubai.

Even though regulators have been handing out licenses and welcoming new firms to the region, they have been quite strict about regulatory compliance. Dubai is one of the few regions that has set out specific principles and goals when it comes to crypto. The VARA intends to promote the Emirate as a “regional and international hub” for virtual assets. Parallelly, it also looking to increase awareness and foster innovations. Thus, in such an environment, regulations are necessary to protect users and curb illegal practices and develop a ‘standard.’

In fact, Dubai’s financial regulator recently urged global watchdogs to step up talks with each other. As reported recently, this will help in avoiding “bad actors” exploiting gaps in crypto rules and help bridge regulatory loopholes.

Also Read: Crypto: Dubai’s Financial Regulator Urges Global Watchdogs to ‘Step Up’ Talks