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The UAE Virtual Assets Regulator said that no crypto entity has obtained the Full Marketplace Product (FMP) license. According to the country’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy, Omar Sultan Al Olama, no crypto entity has been “able to onboard customers even in the last week”.

VARA has not yet granted a product license for the full market

The UAE’s virtual assets regulator, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), has not issued any operating licenses so far, said the country’s digital economy minister, Omar Sultan Al Olama. Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Al Olama reportedly said that no crypto exchange entity, including Binance and FTX, has obtained the Full Market Product (FMP) license.

According to Al Olama’s remarks published No crypto on Laraontheblock has yet completed the four-step VARA process. As a result, this means “no one was able to onboard customers even last week”.

In March 2022, VARA said it granted Binance a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license that allowed it to offer an approved range of virtual asset-related services to suitably qualified retail and institutional investors in Dubai. Similar licenses have also been issued to other crypto exchange platforms. Some crypto exchanges have apparently used these licenses to tout their credentials to potential customers.

However, VARA has now clarified that licenses issued to Binance and other crypto exchanges are only “provisional” in stage one, or “MVP-preparatory” in stage two.

VASPs are not allowed to offer services to mass consumers

According to VARA, these licenses are only issued to allow Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to complete the prerequisites and begin preparing. The regulator also reiterated Al Olama’s position that no crypto entity has received the full license.

“No VARA licensee has, to date, been granted an MVP operating license, to provide regulated services or activities to its specifically licensed market segment(s) in the emirate. Any information or representation to the contrary is inaccurate and misleading,” the regulator said in a notice to the market on its website.

Echoing Al Olama’s message to the WEF, the regulator said MVP licensees are not allowed to offer their services to mass retail consumers “until approval of the FMP license from the step gate (4) has been obtained”.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is an award-winning journalist, author and writer in Zimbabwe. He has written extensively on the economic issues of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide an escape route for Africans.














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