Deribit crypto options exchange may move to Dubai

Deribit crypto options exchange may move to Dubai

Deribit, one of the largest crypto options exchanges globally, is reportedly planning to move to Dubai as early as the third quarter of 2023, provided authorities in the Emirate clarify regulatory policies.

Crypto exchange set to apply for Dubai trade license

According to David Dohmen, chief legal compliance and regulatory officer at Deribit, the trading platform is getting ready to open an office in Dubai.

Dohmen added that ten people comprising management, compliance, and support staff would initially run the Dubai office. The personnel will be a mix of the company’s existing staff and local hires.

Deribit operates from Panama and Amsterdam but is applying for a full market product license under Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) regime.

The move, which followed the collapse of the now-defunct derivatives exchange FTX, is part of an overarching effort to boost users’ confidence in Deribit. The crypto options exchange also intends to hire a top-four auditing firm and publish daily snapshots of its proof of reserves (PoR).

Dohmen also stated that Deribit’s proposed move to Dubai was partly instigated by the desire of some of its clients to trade on a regulated crypto exchange.

“We’ve had a number of clients who basically intimated to us that they would like to trade on a crypto exchange that’s actually regulated.”

David Dohmen, chief legal compliance and regulatory officer at Deribit.

He further claimed that Panama, where the company is currently domiciled, has no crypto regulations. Following events sparked by the collapse of FTX, Dohmen felt a need for firmer regulation in the crypto industry.

Dubai tightening crypto-friendly regulations

Dubai has positioned itself as a progressive hub for cryptocurrency firms seeking more lenient treatment from regulators during this extended market downturn. The emirate recently granted trading licenses to crypto exchanges such as Komainu, Binance, and Bybit.

The city is currently dealing with a slowdown in the housing market that’s hampered its famous real estate industry and has been attempting to attract more crypto companies. It recently unveiled a metaverse initiative that it hopes will bring more than 1,000 blockchain and metaverse projects to the city and create 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030.

But despite Dubai’s forward-thinking outlook on crypto, the demise of prominent crypto exchanges such as FTX has forced regulators in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reconsider the city’s desire to become the Middle East’s premier crypto hub.

Earlier this year, regulators imposed stricter rules on crypto firms setting up shops in the Gulf state to protect investors.

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