In a landmark move, global cryptocurrency exchange OKX has become the first to receive a full Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) making it the first global crypto exchange to achieve this milestone.
While OKX currently offers limited services in Dubai through a preparatory license, the new VASP license signifies a green light for full functionality.
The license will allow OKX to offer regulated trading services to investors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including spot and fiat trading, local currency deposits and withdrawals, and spot trading pairs with the UAE dirham (AED).
These services will be available to both retail and institutional users, subject to regulatory verification and approval.
Experts view this development as a major validation of Dubai’s ambitions to become a global hub for the crypto industry since the Emirates has actively pursued a welcoming framework for virtual assets, attracting numerous crypto companies and establishing itself as a center for innovation and investment.
OKX’s General Manager for the MENA Region, Rifad Mahasneh, mentioned that the VASP license is a game changer for the company, as it will enable it to provide a secure and compliant platform for crypto enthusiasts in the region.
VARA is the regulatory body that oversees the virtual asset sector in Dubai, which is part of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a leading financial center in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.
With the VASP license in hand, OKX is poised to play a leading role in shaping the future of crypto in Dubai and beyond.
OKX is the sixth largest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap. The exchange, which is based in Seychelles, has also registered entities in Hong Kong and Malta, and has complied with the new crypto regulations in the United Kingdom.
OKX offers more than 16,000 cryptocurrencies on its platform and supports various features such as spot and margin trading, derivatives, lending, staking, mining, and more.
Finally, this development is likely to be closely watched by other exchanges and industry stakeholders, potentially fueling further regulatory advancements and wider adoption of cryptocurrencies in the region.