ByBit’s MVP license in Dubai ‘very restricted,’ CEO says

Dubai-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Bybit already operates out of Dubai, but its current licensing doesn’t allow the firm to serve all customers, according to Bybit CEO.

Bybit FinTech FZE, a subsidiary of the global exchange Bybit, on June 27 announced it received the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) preparatory license by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

According to the CEO, Bybit is currently working hard to gain a full market product (FMP) license in Dubai, which will allow the exchange to operate for a full spectrum of customers in the United Arab Emirates.

“Bybit already operates out of Dubai, the MVP license only allows Bybit to service a very restricted set of accredited investors,” Bybit co-founder and CEO Ben Zhou told Cointelegraph.

“I feel positive about our progress as VARA demonstrates an interest and passion for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Zhou said, adding that the authority has been proactively seeking feedback from entrepreneurs.

Once fully licensed in Dubai, Bybit plans to run a full-scope virtual assets exchange, providing “all services available within that license,” the CEO said. According to official VARA data, such services include advisory, broker-dealer, custody and exchange services, lending and borrowing, payments and remittances services, as well as investment services.

“Dubai offers a level playing field for businesses of all sizes and sectors,” Zhou noted, adding that the UAE and Dubai have been actively working to provide regulatory clarity while advocating for investor protection. He added:

“The Emirates future-ready mindset helps attract investors and funds looking for a stake in the digital economy and that’s why it’s the perfect location for Bybit […] The “test-adapt-scale” virtual assets market model sets out an attractive proposition for foreign direct investment.”

Bybit’s latest regulatory developments come soon after the company opened new headquarters in Dubai in April 2023. Previously, the company received VARA’s in principle approval in April 2022.

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The news comes amid Bybit aggressively expanding its global reach with regulators. On June 26, Bybit said it acquired a license to operate as an exchange and custody service in Cyprus, allowing it to start offering trading between crypto and fiat currency pairs. In May, Bybit also received pre-approval in Kazakhstan to operate as a digital asset trading facility and custody services provider at the Astana International Financial Centre.

“You certainly get the sense that some jurisdictions are more welcoming than others. For example, Kazakhstan and Cyprus have recently given us full operational licenses,” Zhou stated.

Bybit is also looking very closely at developments in key jurisdictions like the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the European Union, the CEO added.

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