Our Middle East Entity Receives MVP Preparatory License From VARA in Dubai

Today, we're excited to announce that OKX Middle East Fintech FZE, a part of our globally leading Web3 technology company and the second-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has received a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) Preparatory license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

We recognize the UAE as a key strategic growth and business hub for us, both globally and in the region. As such, we're planning to scale up operations in OKX Middle East. We've opened a new office in Dubai World Trade Center as part of this effort and plan to expand our Dubai staff to 30, focusing on local hires and senior management. We also plan to extend our nine-figure brand partnerships to the UAE with activations and activities focused on our customers and fans.

The MVP preparatory licence allows approved licensees to fulfil all pre-conditions required to undertake MVP operations within the VARA regime. Once we are licensed to be operational, OKX Middle East will extend its approved suite of duly regulated virtual assets activities and will provide spot, derivatives, and fiat services, including USD and AED deposits, withdrawals and spot-pairs, to institutional and qualified retail customers.

Our Global Chief Commercial Officer Lennix Lai said: “We're thrilled to receive the MVP preparatory licence 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. The MENA region has incredible potential as a centre of excellence for Web3 and virtual assets, we look forward to the opportunity to expand the already growing ecosystem across the region.”

Our Global Head of Government Relations Tim Byun said: “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. Under VARA’s comprehensive framework, all operators must meet high standards of compliance, risk management, security and consumer protection, benchmarked against well-known existing regulatory principles for traditional financial services. This provides confidence to operators and customers alike, and positions the crypto and Web3 industry in MENA for increased participation and overall growth in the near and long term.”

Our Chief Marketing Officer Haider Rafique said: "We've been waiting to enter the UAE and we want people here to experience our products first hand. We're different - we do things in a measured and transparent manner. May was our seventh consecutive month of publishing our proof of reserves, making us the only crypto exchange globally with that commitment. We've done that while out-innovating the industry in Web3 with our leading decentralised ecosystem. We've also launched numerous new security features while adding more depth in markets. This attitude is consistent with the brand partners who represent us, Manchester City Football Club, McLaren Racing, and the Tribeca Festival. We take our time, and do things the right way."

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