Dubai’s virtual asset regulatory authority VARA opens the door to regulated crypto staking services with its  revised Custody Services Rulebook, allowing staking by virtual asset custody Service providers. 

As per the revised rule book, virtual asset service providers who carry out custody services can offer staking services as well withouth obtaining a separate licence for VA Management and Investment Services. Additional licensing and supervision fees will be payable in connection with the provision of this additional service.

As per the amendments,  VASPs Licensed by VARA to carry out Custody Services may only provide Staking from Custody Services, if explicitly authorised to do so by VARA, and such authorisation is expressly stipulated in their Licence.

There will be incremental fees for custody services.

VASPs who are authorized to offer staking services, will have to comply to all the rules related to custody services while they are offering their staking services as staking services is a subset of crypto or virtual asset custodial services. VASPs can only offer staking services to the clients they are providing custody services to. As per VARA,  “  For the avoidance of doubt, VASPs Licensed by VARA to carry out Custody Services that are also authorised to provide Staking from Custody Services, may only provide Staking from Custody Services for Virtual Assets for which they are providing Custody Services.”

As for client protection VASPs can only act on the explicit instructions received from their clients.

The first VASP to have both a custodial and staking license was Komainu which recently received its full license from VARA.

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