For quite a while now, numerous crypto firms have embraced expansion as their motto. The Middle East, especially Dubai, has emerged as a favored destination for many of these firms. Several exchanges have set their sights on setting a presence in the region. OKX made this decision to expand its business to Dubai, and the firm was warmly received as the region welcomed it with a license.
Recent reports indicated that OKX Middle East has successfully obtained a Preparatory license for a Minimal Viable Product [MVP] from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority [VARA]. Upon activation of the MVP license, OKX Middle East will be able to offer spot, derivatives, and fiat services. This included the provision of deposit and withdrawal services for both U.S. dollars and United Arab Emirates dirham [AED], as well as spot-pair trading options.
Tim Byun, the global head of government relations at OKX, noted that Dubai and VARA have been diligently developing the most timely, comprehensive, and purposeful regulatory framework for the crypto industry. Additionally, he stated,
“Licensing in Dubai is a critical element of OKX’s global regulatory compliance strategy. In today’s uncertain market environment, it’s of the utmost importance for VASPs to be highly secure, transparent, compliant, and backed by strong, clear regulation.”
Lennix Lai, the Global Chief Commercial Officer at OKX, underlined the immense potential that the MENA region has for Web3 and the crypto industry. Furthermore, Lai noted that regulated firms are crucial for the future of digital assets and capital markets, specifically stressing the role of Dubai and VARA in shaping this landscape.
Is OKX avoiding the U.S.?
Byun confirmed that OKX has always blocked U.S. customers. As a result, the firm isn’t active in the region. He further said,
“We will make a decision about the U.S., when and if to enter that market, in an appropriate and compliant manner. But we think that outside of the U.S., there are huge opportunities.”
In addition, OKX is inclined towards Dubai, the Bahamas, Gibraltar, France, and the entire European Union. This is due to the fact that these regions are actively implementing the Markets in Crypto Assets [MiCA] legislation in 2024. For the exchange, it is a step in the right direction.