Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has suspended the Minimally Viable Product (MVP) License of local cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis due to non-compliance with related requirements.
This regulatory action highlights the ongoing developments in Dubai’s crypto regulatory landscape and its impact on market participants.
BitOasis MVP License
BitOasis was granted an MVP license by Dubai on April 12, 2023, enabling the firm to conduct market operations within limited 30 to 60-day periods.
However, BitOasis failed to meet the stipulated conditions within the specified timeframes, leading to the suspension of its MVP license by VARA. The MVP license serves as a preliminary license that does not authorize full operations in Dubai’s crypto market.
Restrictions and Compliance Monitoring
VARA further clarified that BitOasis cannot apply for the Full Market Product (FMP) License until it fulfills the necessary conditions.
Additionally, BitOasis’ License for Institutional and Qualified Retail Investors remains non-operational. VARA emphasized that it will continue to monitor BitOasis’ compliance with remedial actions and regulatory benchmarks.
It is essential for individual investors to conduct their own due diligence and not solely rely on regulatory alerts.
Regulatory Developments in Dubai
The regulatory actions against BitOasis shed light on the evolving regulatory landscape in Dubai, where crypto activities are both permitted and restricted. In an unrelated case, Dubai reprimanded another crypto exchange, OPNX, in April 2023, accusing it of operating as an unlicensed and unregulated platform and issuing a cease-and-desist order against the firm and its operators.
Dubai’s Crypto-Friendly Reputation
Despite recent regulatory actions, Dubai, along with the broader United Arab Emirates (UAE), is generally regarded as a crypto-friendly region.
Major industry players such as Coinbase and Ripple have considered the UAE as a potential overseas base. Other firms, including Bybit, Crypto.com, and OKX, have obtained Dubai’s MVP license, allowing them to operate within the area. Binance also acquired the MVP license after a previous attempt in March 2022.