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OKX Middle East Granted MVP Preparatory License by VARA for Expansion in Dubai and Middle East Fintech Landscape

Strategic Expansion in the UAE

OKX, the second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume and a leading Web3 technology company, has announced that its subsidiary, OKX Middle East Fintech FZE (OKX Middle East), has received a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) Preparatory license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This development is part of OKX’s strategic plan to leverage the UAE as a global and regional business hub.

As part of this effort, OKX has opened a new office in the prestigious Dubai World Trade Center and plans to expand its staff count to 30, with a focus on local hires and senior management positions. The company also intends to extend its nine-figure brand partnerships to the UAE through customer-centric activations and activities.

Role of VARA

The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) is the world’s first specialized regulator for the virtual assets sector. The MVP preparatory license allows approved licensees like OKX Middle East to fulfill all pre-conditions required for undertaking MVP operations within VARA’s regulatory framework.

Lennix Lai, OKX Global Chief Commercial Officer, expressed his enthusiasm about receiving the MVP preparatory license from VARA:

We’re thrilled to receive the MVP preparatory license from VARA. Regulated entities are the future of digital assets and capital markets, and Dubai and VARA have succeeded in creating a unique environment where VASPs can thrive. With the expansion into a new office this year, we are focused on hiring local staff and senior management.

Likewise, Tim Byun, OKX Global Head of Government Relations, acknowledged Dubai’s leadership in crypto regulation:

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. Licensing in Dubai is a critical element of OKX’s global regulatory compliance strategy. In today’s uncertain market environment, it’s of the utmost importance for VASPs to be highly secure, transparent, compliant and backed by strong, clear regulation.

Commitment to Transparency and Security

OKX’s commitment to transparency and security is demonstrated by its publishing of Proof of Reserves on a monthly basis. In fact, May marked the seventh consecutive month that OKX has published its proof of reserves, making it the only crypto exchange globally with such commitment.

Haider Rafique, OKX Chief Marketing Officer, shared his excitement about entering the UAE market:

We’ve been waiting to enter the UAE and we want people here to experience our products firsthand. May was our seventh consecutive month of publishing our proof of reserves, making us the only crypto exchange globally with that commitment. This attitude is consistent with the brand partners who represent us: Manchester City Football Club, McLaren Racing, and the Tribeca Festival.

Final Thoughts

OKX Middle East’s receipt of an MVP preparatory license from VARA marks a significant milestone in its expansion efforts within Dubai and the broader Middle East fintech landscape. As digital assets continue to gain traction worldwide, OKX’s strategic growth in this key market demonstrates its commitment to providing secure, transparent, and compliant services for users globally.