Dubai’s digital asset regulator, the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), has suspended crypto exchange BitOasis from operating in the region.
The regulatory body accused BitOasis of failing to meet the necessary regulatory requirements, prompting the suspension that took effect on July 10.
BitOasis obtained a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) license from VARA on April 12, enabling the company to provide broker-dealer services. This license allowed traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and access digital wallet services through the platform.
However, the license was contingent upon BitOasis fulfilling certain undisclosed requirements within 30 to 60 days.
However, BitOasis did not meet these requirements, leading to the suspension of its license by VARA. Consequently, the entity’s license for institutional and qualified retail investors remains non-operational until BitOasis fulfills the conditions and applies for the full market product (FMP) license.
The MVP license is issued as a preliminary step before issuing the more comprehensive FMP license, both granted by VARA. Notable companies that have received the MVP license include Bybit, OKX, and Binance.
BitOasis, in response to the regulatory concerns, published a blog post on July 11, acknowledging the issues surrounding its Operational MVP License for serving institutional and qualified retail investors. The platform stated that it is actively working with VARA to fulfill the remaining conditions and rectify the situation promptly.
The crypto exchange clarified that suspending its MVP license does not affect its other services, such as broker-dealer services for existing retail users.
Dubai’s crypto regulatory landscape
It is worth noting that two weeks ago, Bybit obtained an MVP license to offer limited services in Dubai. Bybit relocated its headquarters to the region in April, with plans to engage in hackathons in collaboration with local companies and launch educational programs and entrepreneurial initiatives.
Similarly, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has been strengthening its operations in Dubai to overcome regulatory challenges encountered in the global market.
While Dubai continues to attract cryptocurrency companies due to its favorable regulatory environment, VARA remains committed to safeguarding regional investors.
The regulatory authority has also reprimanded OPNX, a company claiming to facilitate trading bankruptcy claims for collapsed companies like FTX, for operating an unregulated platform.
In May, VARA issued a cease-and-desist order to OPNX’s founders, Kayles Davis, and Su Zhu, who were previously associated with the defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC).