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Cryptocurrency exchange receives approval to operate in Dubai

FTX is among several cryptocurrency firms that have announced moves to the UAE, which instituted a regulatory mechanism for virtual assets earlier this year.

The Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX announced today that it has received regulatory approval to operate in Dubai. FTX’s Middle East subsidiary FTX Exchange FZE, can now conduct virtual asset exchange services in Dubai’s program under the United Arab Emirates’ Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, FTX said in a press release. 

Why it matters: The UAE launched the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority in March to regulate the relatively new cryptocurrency sector. Some cryptocurrency professionals, such as CoinMENA head Talal Tabbaa, have credited the framework with attracting cryptocurrency firms to the Gulf state. Indeed, Bybit and announced moves to Dubai the same month the authority came into effect. Kraken then decided to open an office in Abu Dhabi in April. 

Know more: Cryptocurrency ownership is relatively popular in the UAE, and could continue to grow. Last week, the Dubai-based online bank RAKBANK announced plans to allow people in the UAE to trade cryptocurrencies in Emirati dirhams, as opposed to US dollars. 

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