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The Dubai-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange is already operating outside of Dubai, but its current license does not allow the firm to serve all customers, according to Bybit’s CEO.
Bybit FinTech FZE, a subsidiary of global exchange Bybit, announced on June 27 that it has received a preparatory minimum viable product (MVP) license from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).
According to the CEO, Bybit is currently hard at work on obtaining a full market product (FMP) license in Dubai, which will allow the exchange to operate with a full range of clients in the United Arab Emirates.
“Bybit is already operating outside of Dubai, the MVP license only allows Bybit to serve a very limited set of accredited investors,” Bybit co-founder and CEO Ben Zhou told Cointelegraph.
“I appreciate our progress as VARA shows an interest and passion for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Zhou said, adding that authorities are actively soliciting feedback from entrepreneurs.
After obtaining a full license in Dubai, Bybit plans to launch a full-fledged virtual asset exchange, providing “all services available under this license,” the CEO said. According to official VARA data, these services include advisory, broker-dealing, depository and exchange services, lending and borrowing, payment and money transfer services, and investment services.
“Dubai offers a level playing field for businesses of all sizes and sectors,” Zhou said, adding that the UAE and Dubai are actively working to ensure regulatory clarity while advocating investor protection. He added:
“Emirates’ future-ready mindset helps attract investors and funds seeking a stake in the digital economy, which is why this is the perfect location for Bybit […] The ‘test-adapt-scale’ virtual asset market model is an attractive proposition for foreign direct investment.”
Bybit’s latest regulatory changes came shortly after the company opened its new Dubai headquarters in April 2023. The company previously received VARA-in-principle approval in April 2022.
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The news comes as Bybit is actively expanding its global footprint with regulators. On June 26, Bybit said it had received a license to operate as an exchange and custody service in Cyprus, allowing it to offer trading in crypto and fiat currency pairs. In May, Bybit also received pre-approval in Kazakhstan to operate as a digital asset trading and custody service provider at the Astana International Financial Center.
“You certainly understand that some jurisdictions are more hospitable than others. For example, Kazakhstan and Cyprus recently granted us full operating licenses,” Zhou said.
Bybit is also following developments in key jurisdictions such as the UK, Hong Kong and the European Union very closely, the CEO added.