In a recent tweet, Qatar’s AhliBank warned customers against, trading, buying and selling virtual assets and currencies through accounts and banking services, citing the reasons as being associated with high risks.

According to the statement, “The regulators have banned trading, buying and selling virtual assets and currencies through accounts and banking services, as they are associated with high risks. Please be careful and don’t deal with any person or entity that provides trading services in virtual assets and currencies through your bank account and banking services, to avoid any risks that may arise as a result of trading in these virtual assets and currencies. “

The statement reflects the growing interest in clients for trading in virtual assets, while the regulatory authorities in Qatar specifically the Central Bank have yet to regulate this sector or introduce crypto exchange licenses. 

In 2022, CoinMENA, crypto broker exchange had announced that it was now serving clients in Qatar, as does Binance and other international crypto exchange platforms. 

Yet Qatar has been moving forward both in Blockchain, DLT, and digital assets with the recent news coming from Qatar Financial Authority Center which has just finalized its digital assets framework.

Dubai’s virtual asset regulator, VARA has issued an alert and warning with regards to virtual asset exchange OPNX (opnx.com) which launched on April 4th 2023.

As per VARA’s announcement investors should note that OPNX is not regulated by VARA and any activity being carried out by them in Dubai is being performed on an unregulated basis.

The warning adds that while OPNX.com claims to offer exchange services for complex VA products including but not limited to derivatives and tokenized bankruptcy claims. These products have not been reviewed by VARA, and may not be suitable for all investors;

As per Dubai Law No. (4) of 2022: mandates that all VA Activity must be regulated in order to be deemed permissible in this jurisdiction, and as such, OPNX is not legally authorised to provide any VA services from/in the Emirate of Dubai; and

Cabinet Resolution No. 111/2022: advises the market to not engage with unregulated VASPs

Any promotions, advertising, solicitation and/or marketing of opnx.com or its native token FLEX has not been approved by VARA, and OPNX is hence not permitted to offer, promote or advertise any of its products or services in/from Dubai, or to residents of the Emirate.

The alert also noted that given that OPNX’s products and services are not permitted to be made available to Dubai residents, the market may wish to notify VARA at varaconnect@vara.ae if anyone has been (i) a subject of any of OPNX’s solicitation/ promotional activities; or (ii) their services have been made available to users in the UAE.