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Dubai's BitOasis Faces Regulatory Hurdles as Operating License is Frozen

Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority puts BitOasis license on hold due to unfulfilled obligations

Wed, 12 Jul 2023, 04:16 am UTC

Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis found itself in a regulatory deadlock on July 10 when its operating license was put on hold by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). The regulatory body stated that BitOasis had failed to meet key conditions within the specified timeframes.

VARA, established to oversee the rapidly evolving crypto landscape, identified BitOasis's unfulfilled obligations but did not provide specific details regarding those conditions. Consequently, BitOasis's license, which had been conditionally awarded to the company on April 12, is now classified as "non-operational." This directly affects the exchange's services to both institutional and qualified retail investors until it complies with the regulator's requirements.

Interestingly, BitOasis was the first recipient of Dubai's "minimum viable product operational licenses," which granted the company the privilege to offer broker-dealer services to a specific group of investors within the city, as announced by the company in May.

VARA's regulatory actions didn't stop there. In April, the watchdog took action against the co-founders of the defunct crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies. Their new venture, the OPNX crypto exchange, was reportedly operating and advertising in Dubai without the necessary regulatory approval.

Despite the current license impasse, BitOasis reassured its clients through a blog post dated July 11, stating its commitment to meeting all regulatory conditions. The exchange clarified that the issue with its Operational MVP license would not impact other services, such as broker-dealer services for existing retail customers.

VARA continues its regulatory scrutiny and pledges to closely monitor the situation while pushing for compliance rectification. However, at the time of reporting, neither VARA nor BitOasis had issued an official statement regarding the matter.

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