Cryptocurrency wallet provider Blockchain.com has secured a provisional virtual assets licence to operate in Dubai. The Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange has obtained the approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (Vara).
The in-principal approval allows Blockchain.com to conduct a spectrum of virtual assets business under the initial regulatory phase of VARA, which serves as the single custodial entity mandated to license and govern crypto activities in Dubai. This includes offering exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers under strict oversight and mandatory FATF compliance controls.
To get access to the retail market, Blockchain.com will be progressively monitored in stages alongside all licensed VARA service providers.
The news comes shortly after Blockchain.com was registered as a digital asset provider in Italy, following in the tracks of rivals who joined a special registry with brokerage regulator Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori (OAM).
The UK-based firm follows in the footsteps of other crypto firms that have recently secured clearance from OAM, as required by newly updated regulations on crypto assets. The list includes Binance, which received regulatory approval in May to act as a crypto service provider with the OAM. Also last month, Coinbase won approval from Italian regulators and a day later, Crypto.com was awarded nod to distribute its products and services to users in the country.
The applicants are required to submit disclosures of a variety of data, including those relating to client identification and transactions on a quarterly basis. In case of non-compliance with the regulatory requirements, the operator may be subject to financial sanctions and its website may blocked by the internet providers.
Earlier, Blockchain.com revealed it had been exposed to Three Arrows Capital (3AC) after the recently bankrupt hedge fund failed to meet a margin call. It also came on the heels of the firm’s announcement that is interviewing investment bankers about going public as soon as this year.
The company hasn’t made a final decision, though, and its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) could change, and the public debut could also slip to next year.
Blockchain.com, led by CEO and co-founder Peter Smith, is said to have registered 73 million crypto wallets and over 31 million verified users in more than 200 countries. It also claims a market share of 28% of all bitcoin transactions.