On July 10, the emirate’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) issued a market alert stating that it had launched an enforcement action against cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis.
BitOasis is one of the largest customer-focused crypto platforms in the Middle East.
Dubai regulators on alert
According to the alert, BitOasis is under review for “failing to meet mandatory conditions, which must be met within 30-60 day timeframes before being allowed to engage in any VARA-regulated market activity.”
BitOasis received the first of Dubai’s “minimum viable product operating licences” earlier this year, but that license may be terminated by the regulator.
The Dubai regulator stated that it was “exercising its authority to supervise and monitor compliance”, adding that enforcement actions could include “maintaining BitOasis’ license status as non-operational”.
The license allows the company to offer crypto asset brokerage services to qualified retail and institutional investors from its headquarters in Dubai.
BitOasis, which operates in 14 MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries, claims more than $3 billion in trading volume, according to its website.
Last year, the exchange laid off 5% of its staff, citing the recession and market turmoil.
It is not the first time that Dubai regulators have issued warnings and rebukes. In April, VARA issued a rebuke to Kyle Davies and Su Zhu, co-founders of failing crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
In May, the regulator rebuked OPNX founders Mark Lamb and Sudhu Arumugam, as well as its CEO, Leslie Lamb, for engaging in unregulated activities.
At the end of June, Bybit, the Dubai-based crypto exchange, obtained a preparatory minimum viable product license from VARA. Bybit has also cut staff during the crypto bear market.
Crypto Market Insights
Markets have rallied marginally, but volume remains low and trading remains sideways. Total capitalization reached $1.23 trillion at the time of writing, following a 1.6% gain on the day.
Bitcoin briefly spiked to $31,000 during late trading on July 10, but was unable to hold that level and pulled back sharply to yesterday’s levels around $30,400.
Ethereum was up 1.3% on the day to $1881 at the time of writing. Binance Coin (BNB) and Polygon (MATIC) performed well, gaining 5% and 8%, respectively
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This post Dubai Takes Enforcement Action Against Middle East Crypto Exchange BitOasis
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