Gets Regulatory Nod in Dubai, FTX Launches in Japan

One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume Friday announced it has received provisional approval of its Virtual Asset MVP License from the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), allowing it to offer a full suite of crypto exchange products and services.

The operating license under this specialized program will be issued as soon as the firm qualifies for all mandated requirements.

Established in March 2022, VARA oversees the issuing, trading, and authorizing of virtual assets in Dubai, regulates cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers, and monitors transactions to ensure the highest standards of consumer protection.

“The United Arab Emirates is focused on developing a world-leading environment for innovative technology and collaboration, and we believe the cryptocurrencies, virtual assets, and blockchain will revolutionize the financial services sector,” said H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

“Through our Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority and other important initiatives, we are attracting companies to the UAE to build on this vision and enable technologies of the future to flourish here,” he added.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority that houses VARA said establishing the first of its kind specialized authority to regulate the Virtual Assets industry is a pioneering move by Dubai’s leadership that views this sector as an accelerator for the future global economy.

FTX expands services to Japan

FTX, which overthrew Coinbase to become the second-largest crypto exchange, has announced the launch of FTX Japan, to expand its services to the Japanese customers.

The move comes days after FTX acquired Japanese crypto firm Liquid Group and its subsidiaries, including Quoine Corporation, a Financial Services Agency registered crypto-asset exchange.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that “Japan is a highly regulated market with a potential market size of almost $1 trillion” for crypto trading.

In stark contrast to these expansions, Coinbase has decided to extend its hiring freeze and rescind a number of accepted offers to deal with current macroeconomic conditions.

The exchange, in a blog post, stated it will pause hiring "for as long as this macro-environment requires."

"We always knew crypto would be volatile, but that volatility alongside larger economic factors may test the company, and us personally, in new ways," said L.J. Brock, Coinbase's chief people officer, in the blog post.

Reportedly, another crypto exchange Gemini plans to cut 10% of its employees due to the unfavorable market conditions.

With crypto-friendly trading platform Robinhood’s stock price at an all-time low, it fired 9% of its workforce in April.

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