Crypto.com, a prominent Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, revealed today that its Dubai entity, CRO DAX Middle East FZE, has secured a Virtual Assets Service Provider (VASP) Licence from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).
VARA’s Regulatory Framework: Crypto.com’s Compliance Commitment
According to a November 14 press release, this license, subject to specific conditions and localization requirements outlined by VARA, positions Crypto.com to engage in regulated virtual asset service activities pending operational approval from the regulator.
Upon obtaining operational approval, the VASP Licence will empower the exchange to provide a range of regulated virtual asset services, such as exchange services, broker-dealer services, management and investment services, and lending and borrowing services. These services will be accessible to retail and institutional users through the Crypto.com App and Crypto.com Exchange.
In an effort to be among the first virtual asset exchanges to operationalize its VASP Licence post-VARA’s issuance of specialized regulations in February 2023, Crypto.com underscores its commitment to cross-border risk assurance and compliance with VARA’s robust framework.
This development follows the company’s acquisition of its MVP Provisional Licence in June 2022 and MVP Preparatory Licence in March 2023. Dubai was declared Crypto.com’s regional hub for the Middle East and Africa in March 2022.
Kris Marszalek, CEO of Crypto.com, expressed enthusiasm about being one of the pioneering crypto exchanges to secure a Virtual Asset Service Provider Licence from VARA, underscoring the company’s dedication to security and compliance. He lauded Dubai’s role as a leading market with effective crypto regulation supportive of adoption and innovation.
Meanwhile, on June 9, Crypto.com declared discontinuing services to institutional clients in the U.S., effective June 21. The decision, attributed to “limited demand” in the current crypto market conditions, does not impact retail investors who can still access the platform, including its CFTC-regulated derivatives trading.
Observers speculate that this move aligns with the growing regulatory scrutiny in the United States, particularly following recent lawsuits by the SEC against major exchanges like Binance and Coinbase for alleged violations of U.S. securities laws. Despite citing market conditions as the primary reason, the company did not rule out the possibility of reopening institutional services.