November 3, 2023

VARA Initially Approves Crypto Firm WadzPay



The Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has granted crypto firm WadzPay an “initial approval” license, bringing the company one step closer to obtaining a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license for virtual asset services and activities.

As per the announcement, the VARA license allows WadzPay to prepare for providing virtual asset services and activities under the VASP License for Transfer and Settlement and Broker/Dealer activities.

However, the company cannot offer other virtual asset products or services. It offers a platform catering to both businesses and individual users.

Dubai has granted operational licenses to various crypto exchanges and firms over the past few months.

This has strengthened its position as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction with its regulatory body and comprehensive rulebooks for VASPs.

Obtaining a VARA license in Dubai involves a three-step process that requires crypto exchanges to qualify for provisional approval, a minimal viable product (MVP) license, and a total market product license.

Backpack, a cryptocurrency wallet, was granted a VASP license at the end of October, which led to the launch of Backpack Exchange. However, the exchange’s VARA license restricts its operations to only crypto exchange services within Dubai, excluding its other virtual asset offerings.

The newly unveiled Backpack Exchange features zero-knowledge proof-of-reserves, multi-party computation for custody, and high-speed order execution.

Komainu, a joint venture between Nomura and crypto firms CoinShares and Ledger, has received a full operating license from VARA in Dubai.

The license completes the final step in VARA’s licensing process, which took nearly ten months after Komainu secured its MVP license in November 2022.

In August, Laser Digital, Nomura’s cryptocurrency division, also received an operating license from VARA as part of its efforts to establish a foothold in the digital asset sector. Through its subsidiary, Laser Digital Middle East FZE, based in Dubai, the company obtained its VASP license, which allows it to provide brokerage, virtual asset management, and investment services in the emirate.

Author profile

Whether you want to learn about NFT, Blockchain, Web3.0, Metaverse, or any other emerging technologies, we have the vital resources that will enlighten and help you make an informed decision.