Deribit To Set Up Global HQ in Dubai As VARA Grants Conditional License

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
Deribit Eyes Dubai HQ As VARA Grants Conditional License

Deribit, the world’s largest crypto options exchange, said Tuesday that its Dubai-based subsidiary was granted a conditional virtual asset service provider license by the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).

While the license encompasses both spot and derivatives trading activities, it is currently not operational. Deribit must fulfill all outstanding requirements and VARA’s specific localization criteria before commencing operations under this license.

Additionally, Deribit said it would relocate its global headquarters to Dubai from Panama. The company also appointed Luuk Strijers, who served as Chief Commercial Officer since 2019, as Chief Executive Officer.

Furthermore, Deribit bolstered its leadership team by appointing two non-executive directors: Dennis Dijkstra, previously CEO of Flow Traders, and Willem Meijer, an industry veteran.

Deribit Prioritizes Institutional Focus via Dubai Launch


The exchange said it will collaborate closely with VARA to finalize the remaining formalities and expedite the official launch of its Dubai exchange.

For clarification, VARA’s licensing process entails four stages: a provisional permit, followed by preparatory and operational minimal viable product (MVP) licenses, culminating in the final issuance of a full market product (FMP) license.

Upon achieving operational status, Deribit will cater to institutional and qualified investors. The exchange will continue to serve its existing retail clientele through its Panama broker affiliate, which currently maintains membership within Deribit FZE Dubai. This arrangement will remain in effect until further announcements.

The exchange said it will share further launch specifics soon.

Deribit Seeks EU Brokerage License to Fuel European Growth


Deribit currently holds a dominant position with over 85% of the digital asset options market, offering futures contracts for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

While the exchange provides a comprehensive suite of options instruments, some markets may experience limited liquidity due to volume fluctuations. Options are a type of derivative contract that grants users the right to buy or sell a token at a predetermined price by a future date.

Notably, Deribit announced the expansion of its options offerings to include Solana, Polygon, and Ripple in October.

Additionally, the company expressed its intention to pursue an EU brokerage license shortly, signifying plans for European expansion.