Funding Success and Regulatory Hurdles: The Rise and Tribulations of Crypto in Dubai

A surreal fusion of Dubai's futuristic cityscape and symbolically stacked, glowing digital coins, bathed in Dubai's famous sunset hues. The image captures the dynamic tension between triumph and challenge intrinsic to the blossoming crypto market - promising growth under regulatory shadows. An infusion of Middle Eastern art styles imbues a deeply atmospheric mood.

The crypto market continues to prevail in Middle Eastern countries with BitOasis, a Dubai-based cryptocurrency exchange that has recently clinched a round of investor funding, notably from the Indian digital-asset platform CoinDCX. However, the specific details of the deal remain undisclosed. BitOasis, operational since 2016 and providing services in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait, remains a key player in the Middle Eastern and North African regions. This region has witnessed considerable growth in the cryptocurrency market, seeing the fastest pace between mid-2021 and mid-2022, according to Chainalysis research.

This successful investment rounds off a series of funding activities for BitOasis and follows last year’s fundraising efforts that saw the company raise $30 million. The exchange has also gained recognition with the award of Dubai’s “minimum viable product operational licenses,” thus enabling it to offer broker-dealer services for digital assets to qualified investors.

However, for all its recent successes, BitOasis has also faced challenges. The cryptocurrency exchange drew criticism last July when it failed to meet the mandated conditions set by local regulators in Dubai, leading to increased supervisory controls and enforcement actions.

In contrast, CoinDCX, the Indian digital-asset platform that was a significant player in this recent funding round for BitOasis, has soared to prominence as India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn. This follows its recent raising of an impressive $90 million funding round, facilitated by B Capital Group, co-founded by Meta Platforms Inc.’s Eduardo Saverin. This funding round valued CoinDCX at an astonishing $1.1 billion.

Dubai is fast earning a reputation as a leading crypto hub globally and is home to many major players in the crypto space, including the likes of Binance. However, with the influx of crypto companies into its jurisdiction, Dubai is also finding it necessary to increase regulatory oversight. The authorities have not hesitated to crack down on those crypto players that seek to operate without first obtaining the necessary licensing. An example of this was in April when Dubai’s authorities reprimanded the OPMX crypto exchange, accusing it of operating as an unlicensed entity.

In striving to establish itself as a global hub for the industry, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has issued MVP licenses to several reputable companies, including Bybit,, Binance, and OKX, currently enabling these firms to operate in the region.

Source: Cryptonews

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