Dubai gives crypto firm OKX provisional license

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Crypto trading app OKX said on Thursday it had been given a provisional virtual assets license by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), which was set up earlier this year to regulate the industry.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been pushing to develop virtual asset regulation to attract new forms of business as economic competition heats up in the Gulf region.

Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven emirates and the region’s business hub, in March adopted its first law governing virtual assets and established VARA as a regulator for the sector.

“OKX’s provisional license for Dubai allows it to extend certain exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and financial service providers,” the Seychelles-based company that is originally Chinese said in a statement.

“OKX will also establish a regional hub in Dubai to contribute to developing the ever-expanding virtual asset ecosystem both in Dubai and globally.”

The Middle East and North Africa is one of the fastest growing markets for the crypto industry, Lennix Lai, OKX Dubai’s general manager, said in the statement.

“Dubai is a pioneer when it comes to regulation of the virtual assets sector, and it is swiftly becoming one of the top global hubs for the industry,” said Tim Byun, global government relations officer at OK Group.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, was given a virtual assets license by VARA in March.

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