FTX gets green light to operate fully in Dubai

Quick Take

  • FTX Exchange FZE, a subsidiary of FTX Europe, won approval from Dubai’s VARA agency to operate in the jurisdiction.
  • FTX received a partial license in March of this year, but now has full approval to operate a variety of exchange services in Dubai.

Crypto exchange FTX has received the green light to operate an exchange and clearing house services in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the firm announced today.

FTX Exchange FZE, a subsidiary of FTX Europe, won approval to enter Dubai's Minimum Viable Product (MVP) program for virtual assets. The license comes from the jurisdiction's Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which Dubai created in March of this year to handle virtual asset regulation as it seeks to become a hub for the digital economy. It's an affiliated agency of the Dubai World Trade Center regulating crypto activity from custodians to asset managers. 

"The MVP Phase, exclusive to select, responsible international players like FTX, will allow VARA to prudently structure guidelines and risk mitigation levers for secure commercial operations," said H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.

FTX is the first virtual asset service provider to receive a license, according to the announcement. It enables FTX to operate its exchange and clearing house services, offering crypto derivatives products and trading services to qualified institutional investors across the region.


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It also includes licensure to operate its non-fungible token marketplace and custody services. 

FTX received partial approval in March, at which time it said it planned to anchor a regional headquarters in Dubai once it received full licensure. Exchange Binance has also been winding its way through the regulatory process, nabbing a limited license from VARA in April of this year. 

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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