DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: FTX Exchange FZE, today announced that it has received approval to enter Dubai’s ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) programme for Virtual Assets under the world’s only specialist regime for this sector operated by the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). As a subsidiary of FTX Europe, FTX Exchange FZE (FTX) becomes the first Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) to receive this MVP licence to operate its Virtual Asset (VA) Exchange and Clearing House services in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Earlier this year, FTX became the first fully regulated Exchange to receive a provisional licence and ready itself to trial complex crypto derivatives dedicated to professional institutional investors in the UAE. Having successfully concluded VARA’s rigorous regulatory evaluation, it has now been fully approved to transition to an operational MVP licence, enabling the Company’s VA Exchange to deploy regulated crypto derivatives products, and trading services to Qualified Institutional Investors across the region. In addition, the VARA MVP Licence also grants FTX permission to act as a Clearing House, operate an NFT Marketplace, and provide Custodial Services under tightly prescribed parameters for specific class of consumers – assuring strong guardrails for market protection and economic security.
H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority that houses VARA said, “We are pleased to onboard FTX as the first VASP to enter the operational phase of the VARA MVP Programme. VARA’s operating model, based on our unique test-scale-adapt principle designed for secure and sustainable growth, is reflective of Dubai’s commitment to creating a globally interoperable model for the ‘future economy’. The MVP Phase, exclusive to select, responsible international players like FTX, will allow VARA to prudently structure guidelines and risk mitigation levers for secure commercial operations. We look forward to FTX’s active participation in this next stage of collaborative global VA innovation”.
FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, commented on the news, “The approval for FTX to receive the first MVP VASP licence from Dubai’s prudential supervision regime to fully operate our exchange is a tremendous honor and landmark achievement for our team. Our mission is to lead the way in growing the digital asset industry in countries and jurisdictions that possess a robust digital asset framework.”
With VARA’s letter of approval, FTX FZE Exchange will operate under a model which has rigorous regulatory oversight and mandatory FATF compliance controls that are in line with the requirements of Tier 1 international financial markets.
Patrick Gruhn, Head of FTX Europe, adds, “Over the last several months, we at FTX Europe have been working alongside regulators to secure the first official VASP-MVP licence to operate in the UAE region. The approval from Dubai’s VARA is yet another milestone for FTX Europe, and we look forward to expanding our presence within the Dubai, UAE and MENA regions as a result.”
Mohammad Hans Dastmaltchi, Chairman of the Board of FTX Exchange FZE, adds, “We are honored to be the inaugural MVP licence holder of the esteemed VARA Ecosystem. We are grateful and obliged to have our operating licence. This would not have been possible without the progressive business environment in Dubai, the thorough and trustworthy regulatory guidelines provided by VARA, and the outstanding support from their team. We are motivated and committed to being a constructive and responsible participant in the VARA ecosystem and looking forward to growing and strengthening our regional office in Dubai”.
About FTX Exchange FZE
FTX Exchange FZE is a subsidiary of FTX Europe and the Middle East division of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange built by traders, for traders. Through FTX Exchange FZE, users in the Middle East will soon be able to access FTX’s innovative products, including industry-leading derivatives, options and volatility products, tokenized stocks, and other services and products.
FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange built by traders, for traders. It offers innovative products, including industry-leading derivatives, options and volatility products, tokenized stocks, prediction markets, leveraged tokens and an OTC desk. FTX strives to be an intuitive yet powerful platform for all kinds of users, and to be the most innovative exchange in the industry.
Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority [VARA] is the world’s first specialised regulator for the Virtual Assets sector. Established in March 2022, following the effect of Law No.4 of 2022, VARA is responsible by decree for licensing and regulating the Virtual Asset sector in the Emirate of Dubai and its free zone territories [excluding DIFC], and oversees all licensing requirements and applications for authorisation of Virtual Asset activities under UAE law. VARA plays a central role in creating Dubai’s advanced legal framework to protect investors and establish international standards for Virtual Asset industry governance, while supporting the vision for a borderless economy.