Aquanow granted VASP license by Dubai’s regulatory authority
Aquanow, a crypto infrastructure provider based in Vancouver, Canada, has been awarded a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).
The approval is a step forward for Aquanow, although the license will not be operational immediately. The company must first meet additional conditions and localization requirements specified by VARA before it can start its operations in Dubai, subject to further regulatory checks and approval.
Founded in 2018, Aquanow has established partnerships with a variety of financial institutions worldwide, including banks, brokerages, and payment service providers, to facilitate crypto-based strategies and solutions. The company serves over 300 institutional clients across 50 countries and recently reported a remarkable four-year revenue increase of 1,842.
The VASP license from VARA, which serves as the single custodial entity mandated to license and govern crypto activities in Dubai, is a key milestone for Aquanow’s plans to expand internationally. With this license, Aquanow plans to offer a range of services, such as broker-dealer activities, lending and borrowing, and management and investment services in Dubai.
This license is one of the most inclusive to be issued to a VASP in the region. The expansion into the Middle East represents a strategic step for Aquanow as it aims to tap into the region’s growing interest in cryptocurrencies and cater to the increasing demand for crypto trading platforms.
Against the backdrop of a crashing market and burned investors, Dubai has recently sealed a landmark rulebook that governs how the Emirate will regulate cryptocurrency activities. The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), which serves as the single custodial entity mandated to license and govern crypto activities in Dubai, released guidelines for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPs) in February.
The new rules create a legal framework for crypto aimed at protecting investors and designing much-warranted international standards for industry governance. In addition, the VARA now has enforcement powers in Dubai’s special development and free zones with the exception of the Dubai International Financial Centre.
The regulations set out four compulsory rulebooks and activity-specific rulebooks that VASPs must comply with to offer their services. The “Full Market Product Regulations” include guidelines that lay down the rules for compliance, risk management, market conduct, and other requirements.