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BitOasis license in Dubai suspended over non-compliance

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Months after receiving its conditional license to offer digital currency services to Dubai’s residents, regulators have suspended BitOasis’ license over its alleged failure to meet stipulated requirements.

Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) announced via a public notice on July 10 that the conditional license issued to BitOasis will remain “non-operational” until it regularizes its processes with the regulator. However, the public notice failed to disclose the exact conditions that BitOasis was unable to meet, fuelling speculation among industry players.

“As a result of BitOasis not meeting these mandated conditions within the prescribed timelines, VARA has initiated warranted regulatory actions against the entity,” the report read.

Back in April, VARA issued a conditional minimum viable product (MVP) license to BitOasis on the grounds that it would fulfill “key conditions” within a 60-day time frame. Fulfilling the conditions are a prerequisite for the digital exchange to apply for a full market product (FMP) license.

In response to its suspension, BitOasis disclosed through its website that the suspension would not adversely affect its broker-dealer service to existing users. However, the firm noted that it would not be onboarding new customers until the completion of VARA’s requirement, pledging to resolve the issues.

“Our team will continue to work closely with VARA and remediate all outstanding post-licensing conditions of our Operational MVP License as committed to the regulator, as well as working towards Full Market Product (FMP) licensing,” the notice stated.

BitOasis was among the earliest firms to receive approvals from VARA, dating back to March 2022. The Dubai-based digital asset exchange was the first trading platform to secure an operational MVP license.

VARA’s latest notice follows an earlier warning issued to Three Arrows Capital (3AC) co-founders against launching a new digital currency trading platform in the country dubbed Open Exchange (OPNX).

Since its creation, VARA has lived up to its expectations of creating a healthy business environment for digital currencies to thrive. In early July, the regulator published a schedule of fees for firms seeking no-objection certificates and review of white papers.

In February, VARA released comprehensive regulations to govern the activities of industry service providers with the provision of stiff penalties for violations. However, the regulator caught some flak for issuing approvals to the defunct FTX in the months leading to its implosion.

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