Dubai, UAE, 1 May 2023: BitOasis, MENA’s leading regional cryptocurrency trading platform has secured an MVP Operational Licence from Dubai’s VARA, completing the final step in the MVP process, and allowing for the company to provide VA broker-dealer services to qualified retail and institutional investors from its Dubai HQ under VARA’s regulatory regime.
The MVP Operational Licence follows the Provisional Approval issued by VARA to BitOasis in March 2022, within a month from VARA’s formation, under which the company was permitted to continue to operate its platform from Dubai whilst completing VARA’s rigorous licensing process. BitOasis is the first virtual asset broker-dealer to have received an MVP Operational Licence under VARA’s regulatory framework.
The achievement of this unique milestone comes as a result of BitOasis’ longstanding commitment to proactive collaboration with regulators and sector stakeholders in the UAE and beyond. In 2021, BitOasis became the first crypto platform in the UAE to be registered with the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (Go-AML platform), following an extensive risk assessment completed with the UAE’s Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism.
Founded in Dubai in 2015, BitOasis enables users across the GCC and MENA to buy and sell over 60 tokens with fiat currencies such as AED, SAR, TL, and USD. In 2021 BitOasis became the only VA platform to offer customers the ability to deposit funds to bank accounts in the UAE on a fee-free and near real-time basis.
Moving forward, BitOasis intends to leverage its new licence to launch strategic partnerships in Dubai and across the UAE, to provide qualified investors the opportunity to buy, sell and hold virtual assets on the platform, all collectively focused on driving accessibility, consumer protection and utility across the virtual asset ecosystem.
Commenting on the first VASP being licensed to operate within the MVP Phase, Henson Orser, Chief Executive Office, VARA said, “We are pleased to welcome BitOasis to the MVP Programme phase. The VARA ecosystem aims to strike a balance between value creation, risk mitigation and enhanced investment opportunities with consumer protection at its core. BitOasis has demonstrated a strong commitment to operating with a firm bias for regulation throughout the licensing process. One of VARA’s founding principles is creating an equal opportunity regime for responsible VASPs and being able to onboard credible home-grown companies, like BitOasis, in addition to leading global platforms, allowing us to bring the shared learnings of our licensees to build the foundation for our global future economy.”
Commenting Ola Doudin, co-founder and CEO of BitOasis noted: “We are extremely proud to receive VARA’s MVP Operational Licence. Becoming the first virtual asset trading platform in the MVP programme to attain an operating licence is an important milestone for us and the Emirate of Dubai. BitOasis was launched in Dubai in 2015 and the city has remained our home ever since. We remain committed to operating in accordance with applicable law, regulation and best practices from Dubai and across the region. We are grateful for the robust and consultative approach that VARA has taken since its formation as the world’s first dedicated virtual asset regulator in March 2022.”
Commenting on BitOasis’ regulatory approach, Samir Satchu, Senior Vice-President of Public Policy & Expansion at BitOasis added: “Our commitment and ambition at BitOasis is to serve the GCC and MENA region through a network of regulated platforms and on the ground infrastructure. VARA’s MVP Operational Licence, as well as our in-principle approval in late 2022 in Bahrain, are the building blocks for that strategy. “