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Crypto Firms in Dubai Have Until Nov. 17 to Clear all Licensing Requirements: VARA

Sujha Sundararajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Pixabay

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has set a new deadline for all crypto-related businesses to clear their licensing papers.

VARA, the license issuing authority for crypto firms, wants all digital asset service providers to get licenses by November 17.

According to a local English news daily, the deadline applies to firms yet to submit their applications or missed notifications. Crypto businesses with incomplete submissions need to speed up, the authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

The regulatory body noted that these firms must “proactively get in touch, to avoid unintended regulatory consequences.” Failure to clear licensing requirements would lead to enforcement mechanisms “triggered by default,” it added.

The regulator had earlier set August 31 as the deadline for crypto asset service providers to get their licenses cleared.

VARA’s Stringent Regulations


Dubai’s digital assets regulator adopted its first Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023, earlier this year. The watchdog also adopted four compulsory rulebooks, seven activity-specific rulebooks, and a virtual asset issuance rulebook.

These regulations provide much-anticipated regulatory certainty and offer financial security to investors in Dubai.

Further, VARA announced penalties to crypto exchanges like OPNX and its co-founders for failing to abide by the regulations. Such efforts demonstrate Dubai’s strict application of the regulations and the overall effectiveness of the UAE’s anti-financial crimes compliance framework.

VARA has issued licenses to numerous virtual asset service providers (VASPs) that comply with the regulations. Crypto firm WadzPay was the latest to receive an “initial approval” from the regulator.

In October, a crypto wallet provider Backpack, secured VASP license, leading to the launch of the Backpack Exchange. Nomura’s collaborative enterprise Komainu also celebrated the acquisition of a full-fledged operational license from VARA in August. Komainu received its Minimal Viable Product (MVP) license in November 2022.

Additionally, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange secured an operational MVP from VARA and announced its intentions to offer cryptocurrency exchange and virtual asset broker-dealer services in Dubai.