While over the past months a multitude of crypto exchanges have received licenses both from Abu Dhabi’s regulator ADGM and Dubai’s regulator VARA, OKx is the first top five ranked global crypto exchange to receive a VASP ( non-operational) license in the UAE.

OKX, which now holds the status of the fifth biggest exchange globally according to Coinmarketcap, beat Binance to it.

OKX Middle East Fintech FZE, the Dubai subsidiary of OKX, has received a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) for VA Exchange Services. The license remains non-operational until the company fully satisfies all remaining conditions and select localization requirements defined by VARA, following which it will be able to commence operations, subject to regulatory recertification and approval.

Once operational, the VASP license will allow OKX Middle East to extend its approved suite of duly regulated virtual assets activities and to provide spot services and spot-pairs, to institutional and qualified retail customers via the OKX App and OKX.com exchange.

Rifad Mahasneh, OKX General Manager for the MENA Region, stated, “The future of digital assets and capital markets lies in the hands of regulated entities, and Dubai, along with VARA, has succeeded in establishing a distinctive environment that fosters the growth of Virtual Asset Service Providers. The MENA region holds immense potential to become a hub of excellence for Web3 and virtual assets. We eagerly anticipate the chance to further enhance the already flourishing ecosystem throughout the region.”

In a blog post, Mahasneh comments, “This license is a game-changer. Once operational approval has been received, the VASP License will allow OKX Middle East to offer regulated virtual asset exchange services activities including spot and fiat trading services, AED deposits and withdrawals, and spot trading-pairs. These services will be available to retail and institutional users in-market via the OKX App and OKX.com Exchange.”

Tim Byun, OKX Global Head of Government Relations, added, “Dubai and VARA are world leaders in crypto regulation by establishing the most timely, comprehensive and built from-the-ground-up framework for virtual assets and Web3. This license was a crucial step for OKX as we move from a trust-based system to one that is trustless and empowers users to take control of their financial future. Dubai is an important market for us, and we’re excited to build strong relationships with our users and contribute to the development of its crypto and Web3 ecosystem.”

Last week OKX geared up for its license by announcing its Arabic website.