The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), Dubai’s digital asset regulator, has suspended the operations of crypto exchange BitOasis in the region. The suspension came as a result of BitOasis failing to meet the required regulatory standards, and it took effect on July 10.
BitOasis obtained a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) license from VARA on April 12, which allowed the company to provide broker-dealer services, enabling traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and access digital wallet services. However, the license was subject to undisclosed requirements that BitOasis needed to fulfill within 30 to 60 days.
Since BitOasis did not meet these requirements, VARA suspended its license. As a result, the exchange’s license for institutional and qualified retail investors is non-operational until BitOasis fulfills the conditions and applies for the full market product (FMP) license.
The MVP license is a preliminary step issued by VARA before granting the more comprehensive FMP license. Other notable companies that have received the MVP license include Bybit, OKX, and Binance.
BitOasis has responded to the regulatory concerns by acknowledging the issues surrounding its Operational MVP License in a blog post published on July 11. The platform stated that it is actively working with VARA to fulfill the remaining conditions and rectify the situation promptly.
It is important to note that the suspension of the MVP license does not affect BitOasis’ other services, such as broker-dealer services for existing retail users.
In recent weeks, Bybit also obtained an MVP license in Dubai, while Binance has been strengthening its operations in the region to overcome regulatory challenges faced globally.
Although Dubai’s regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies remains favorable and attracts crypto companies, VARA is committed to protecting regional investors. The regulatory authority has also reprimanded OPNX, an unregulated platform that claims to facilitate trading bankruptcy claims for collapsed companies like FTX. In May, VARA issued a cease-and-desist order to OPNX’s founders, Kayles Davis, and Su Zhu, who were previously associated with the defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC).