FTX Obtains Full License to Operate Crypto Exchange in Dubai

FTX Obtains Full License to Operate Crypto Exchange in Dubai

  • The cryptocurrency exchange had already won a partial operating license last March.
  • The company will offer cryptocurrency derivative products and trading services to both investors and institutional clients in the emirate.
  • Dubai wants to become a cryptocurrency paradise in that region of the Gulf.

Dubai has authorized cryptocurrency exchange FTX to conduct digital asset trading and clearing operations in the Arab emirate, the Bahamas-based company announced on Friday.

The Gulf emirate, one of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has decided to launch an ambitious plan this year to develop the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.

To start with, FTX will offer regulated cryptocurrency derivative products as well as various trading services to investors and financial institutions in the emirate. In parallel, it will operate an NFT (non-fungible token) market and provide custody services to its clients.

FTX's director for the Middle East and North Africa, Balsam Danhach, told Reuters that this license covers retail clients as well. Although he specified that "it will be a gradual scale up to ensure that we approach the retail market within the guidelines set by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)".

FTX and Binance Will Compete for Cryptocurrencies

In March, the Dubai cryptocurrency regulator granted the first two partial licenses to FTX and Binance to operate virtual assets in that region. Shortly after the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the creation of the regulatory body.

The company’s services will be offered through FTX Exchange FZE, the subsidiary of the FTX division in the Middle East and Europe.

Despite the concerns related to blockchain technology, the United Arab Emirates has decided to become a major hub for trading digital assets, a sort of financial haven for the cryptocurrency sector.

Since obtaining a partial operating license in March, FTX has established an office in the city. Meanwhile, Binance has also increased its investments in the emirate since it was authorized to operate.

FTX has not yet reported if it has plans to continue its expansion in other Arab emirates, while Binance does. The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) authorized the exchange in March to provide financial services with crypto assets in the kingdom.

On the Flipside

  • After the massive bankruptcy of companies due to the cryptocurrency crash, the company owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, the young American billionaire who has promised to donate his fortune, has been acquiring struggling companies.


He has said that he wants to earn a lot of money and then distribute it. For now, he seems more focused on continuing to accumulate wealth than on charity. FTX and Binance’s move into the Middle East comes at a time when revenues from the region’s oil and gas producing countries continue to rise due to high energy prices.

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