VARA Lists Fasset and CoinMENA as Approved Broker Services

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The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai has shared a list of 14 companies that can still operate in the city.

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Recently, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai made an important announcement. They shared a public record that lists Licensed Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). The main reason for doing this is to make things transparent and protect the interests of consumers.

There has been a concern about the increasing number of unregistered virtual asset service providers, especially in the cryptocurrency sector. This is a worrying issue for both the nation and its consumers. VARA has taken steps to ensure that these providers are licensed to operate in Dubai, enhancing security and implementing strict scrutiny on virtual asset entities.

VARA Lists 14 VASPs Under 5 Categories for Dubai Operations

As per the official website, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai has organized Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) into five categories. Currently, the list features 14 entities registered under VARA to operate in Dubai. Among them, 11 VASPs have an active status, while three are pending approval.

In the category of exchange services, the listed crypto exchanges include Trek Lab’s Backpack Exchange, TOKO, and Binance. While Backpack Exchange holds only an exchange service license, both Binance and TOKO have obtained a broker-dealer service license. This positive development for Binance follows the recent US Department of Justice sanctions related to money laundering charges.

Importantly, VARA has granted approval for broker services to two notable entities, Fasset and CoinMENA. While Bybit awaits categorization, Hex Trust has been listed under a Custodian Services license.

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Enforcement Actions: Dubai Fines 18 VASPs for Regulatory Non-Compliance

A recent market notice highlights the repercussions of a missed regulatory deadline for entities in the virtual asset domain. The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) set a mandate for these entities to undergo the regulatory license application process by November 17, 2023.

Unfortunately, 18 Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) licensed under Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) on the mainland have incurred fines for failing to comply with VARA’s directives. These enforcement actions, aimed at rectifying compliance breaches, fall under Dubai’s jurisdiction.

VARA emphasizes that this is an ongoing process, with potential for additional fines and enforcement actions. There’s a looming threat of potential closure for unlicensed VASPs if regulatory gaps persist by year-end. To avoid further penalties, entities seeking to continue offering virtual asset services in Dubai are urged to promptly engage with VARA.

Important: Please note that this article is only meant to provide information and should not be taken as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other type of advice.

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