Dubai's crackdown on BitOasis spells bad news for Binance – Protos


Dubai’s crypto regulator is cracking down on BitOasis, a major crypto exchange for Middle Eastern customers, for failing to meet required conditions. As the UAE sets a precedent for increased scrutiny, hopes of gaining a license look dim for troubled crypto exchange Binance.
Founded in Dubai in 2016, BitOasis was the first to receive Dubai’s “minimum viable product operational license” in May. It allowed the firm to offer broker-dealer crypto services “to qualified retail and institutional investors from its Dubai HQ under VARA’s regulatory regime,” according to a BitOasis statement.
However, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) issued a market alert on Monday stating that BitOasis was under review. It didn’t specify how the firm hadn’t met “mandated conditions,” but BitOasis now has to satisfy the regulator’s demands “within 30-60 day timeframes” before it can conduct market activity in Dubai.
If BitOasis fails to comply, the firm could risk losing its license, VARA warned. A BitOasis spokesperson said it’s working closely with the regulator to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Read more: Scoop: Major crypto arbitrage fund says Binance US discounts aren’t worth risk
VARA’s crackdown comes amid the UAE’s increased efforts to attract crypto business to the region. It decided to regulate the crypto industry at the end of 2022.
Crypto firms like Binance are eyeing the country as the next hub for their operations. Binance chief Changpeng Zhao reportedly lives in Dubai — the firm submitted an application to register in the region. However, VARA requested more information into Binance’s ownership structure, governance, and auditing procedures at the start of April.
With BitOasis under scrutiny, Binance’s hopes of receiving a license in Dubai becomes less likely — after all, the firm is in hot water with regulators across the US, EU, and Australia.
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