Secures Full Operational Virtual Assets License in Dubai

Updated April 9, 2024 2 min read Secures Full Operational Virtual Assets License in Dubai Secures Full Operational Virtual Assets License in Dubai Secures Full Operational Virtual Assets License in Dubai has obtained full operational approval from Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This milestone marks the first time a global crypto exchange has been granted permission to operate with fiat currency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Virtual Assets in the UAE's Dubai-based subsidiary, CRO DAX Middle East FZE, successfully fulfilled the pre-operational conditions outlined by VARA in November 2023. As a result, the company has been awarded a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license, allowing it to offer a wide range of services to both institutional and retail investors in the region.

Learn what a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) is.

The exchange plans to launch its institutional-focused services first, catering to qualified investors with offerings such as spot trading, staking brokerage, and over-the-counter (OTC) settlements for selected markets. In the coming months, aims to introduce additional retail-focused products and its mobile app to the UAE market.

Collaborating with Regulators's leadership has emphasized the importance of working closely with regulators to advance the cryptocurrency industry responsibly. Eric Anziani, President and Chief Operating Officer at, stated that being the first global crypto operator to receive full operational approval with fiat capabilities in the UAE is a significant milestone for the company.

The exchange has expressed its commitment to collaborating with VARA to foster the growth of the virtual assets sector while prioritizing consumer protection and preventing illicit activities. This collaborative approach aligns with Dubai's vision of creating a robust regulatory framework that attracts leading players in the cryptocurrency space.

Dubai's Growing Virtual Assets Ecosystem

Dubai has been actively positioning itself as a hub for virtual assets and blockchain technology. The establishment of VARA in March 2022 under the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law has provided a clear regulatory framework for companies operating in the space.

VARA's comprehensive licensing framework covers a broad spectrum of virtual asset activities, including advisory services, broker-dealer services, custody services, exchange services, lending and borrowing services, management and investment services, and transfer and settlement services. By implementing stringent oversight and tailored regulations for each activity, Dubai aims to foster consumer protection and prevent illicit practices within the virtual assets market.

Looking Ahead's full operational license in Dubai marks a significant step forward for the company's global expansion plans. With a strong presence in the UAE, the exchange is well-positioned to tap into the growing demand for virtual assets in the Middle East and beyond.

As Dubai continues to attract leading players in the cryptocurrency industry, the emirate is poised to become a key hub for virtual assets in the region. The collaborative efforts between regulators like VARA and industry leaders such as are expected to drive innovation, promote responsible growth, and solidify Dubai's position as a global leader in the virtual assets space.

See our coverage of the latest Dubai Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).