Bybit gets licence to operate virtual asset business in Dubai

Bybit has been granted a Virtual Asset Licence in Dubai, allowing it to operate under the emirate’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ model as a platform for regional development.


The exchange is also setting up base for global operations in the UAE to seed new talent and build a vibrant blockchain ecosystem.

The in-principal approval allows Bybit to conduct a full spectrum of virtual assets business under the initial regulatory phase of the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). 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, Bybit, alongside all licenced VARA service providers, will be progressively monitored in stages.

In addition to its exchange activities, Bybit will also move its global headquarter to Dubai as it aims to foster fresh talent. Its new headquarters office is expected to commence operations as early as next month, having already started the process of hiring staff and transferring existing teams to their new home in  Dubai.

“Bybit looks forward to contributing to the virtual assets innovations of the Emirate’s vibrant economy and  having our global headquarters in Dubai. I believe we could help further stakeholders’ understanding of  this complex industry as the virtual assets space continues to rapidly mature. This in-principle approval is  an extraordinary opportunity for Bybit to support the UAE and the wider region’s ambition to become a  global virtual assets technology hub,” said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit.

On-boarding Bybit is reflective of Dubai commitment to crypto

Notably, the UAE was the first global economy to have set up a specialised regulator for the virtual asset sector. Announced by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, the emirate has enacted its first law governing cryptocurrency activities, and it has also formed an independent regulator to supervise the sector.

Bybit has a long-standing reputation in cryptocurrency derivatives trading. At press time, the Singapore-based exchange accounts for $12 billion in 24-hour volumes. That share of the market puts Bybit just behind three global derivatives exchanges.

In just four years, Bybit managed to become a major versatile hub in the space, boasting a spot and derivatives trading offering in addition to passive-income generating services as a part of its Earn product.

“Bybit’s decision to open its global headquarters in Dubai is a milestone in our efforts to position the UAE  as a global digital hub,” said H.E. Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade and  Minister in Charge of Talent Attraction and Retention. “To stay ahead in this fast-changing industry, we are building a business-friendly ecosystem with robust regulations to attract, retain and enable high-growth companies. This will create jobs and investment opportunities and consolidate our position as one of the world’s most attractive places to  live and work for those in virtual assets and web 3.0 industries.”