Deribit seeking Dubai license to maintain crypto options dominance

Quick Take

  • Deribit is moving its exchange headquarters to Dubai.
  • The firm also is seeking a license in the country.

Crypto exchange Deribit is setting up shop in Dubai as it works to execute on a new strategy aimed at maintaining its dominance in the crypto options market, the exchange confirmed to The Block. 

The firm, which has operations in Panama and Amsterdam, will move the exchange's main headquarters to the burgeoning crypto center as it seeks a Full Market Product license under the so-called Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) regime, the firm's Chief Commercial Officer Luuk Strijers told The Block. The Dubai office will house staff including management, compliance and support roles.

The move to secure a license in Dubai is part of a broader push by the firm to instill greater confidence in its exchange in the wake of the meltdown of defunct derivatives exchange FTX. The firm also plans to secure a top four auditing firm and release proof of reserves snapshots on a daily basis. 

"Clients want checkboxes, check for audit, check for custody, check for license," Strijers said. 

Deribit's marketshare in bitcoin options stands above 90%, according to The Block's data dashboard. 


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"Two years ago clients onboarded with us, and once we said they were good to go they could start trading," Strijers added.  "Now it's mutual onboarding and we have to complete lengthy due diligence forms and checks to make sure they feel comfortable with us."

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Frank Chaparro is Host of The Scoop podcast and Director of Special Projects. He also writes a biweekly newsletter. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].


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