March 15, 2022 - FTX Europe & MENA, the European affiliate of FTX Trading Ltd, owner and operator of FTX.COM, today announced that it has been licensed to establish and operate its Virtual Asset (VA) Exchange and Clearing House services in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). As an anchor within Dubai's programme to drive progressive global VA Regulatory frameworks, FTX Europe becomes the first fully regulated VA Exchange to trial complex crypto derivatives dedicated to professional institutional investors within a reputed international jurisdiction.

FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, commented on the news, "FTX is proud to be the first licensee under Dubai's prudential supervision regime. It's an honor to be one of the first approved applicants in such a specialised category and we are excited to be able to introduce complex crypto-derivatives products with centralised counterparty clearing to institutional markets. FTX receiving this approval is a continuation of our mission to be at the forefront of licensing and regulation around the world. We plan to continue playing a lead role in advancing the digital asset industry in countries that provide a robust regulatory framework, while also operating with the highest security, risk, and investor protection standards."

Dubai is the only global economy to have an independently regulated environment under its newly announced Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), to be governed by comprehensive legislation and internationally applicable policy frameworks. The license issued under prudential supervision, allows FTX to operate within Dubai's 'test-adapt-scale' VA market model which has rigorous regulatory oversight and mandatory FATF compliance controls that are similar to the requirements of Tier-1 international financial markets. The VA Exchange VAX License within this specialist Dubai regime allows FTX to be the first provider of regulated trading and clearing services for crypto-specific derivatives, on trusted guard-rails applicable in legacy markets like NASDAQ Dubai, assuring transparency and investor security. As an approved participant with this specialist regime, FTX will work with Dubai on setting global operating standards to facilitate traceable and secure cross-border trades for the entire crypto industry.

Patrick Gruhn, Head of FTX Europe, adds, "It is a major achievement for FTX to be approved as the first exchange under this unique regulatory framework. I'm excited to expand our presence in the MENA especially as countries like the United Arab Emirates continue to set a new bar when it comes to crypto regulation."

Dubai is a highly regarded international jurisdiction for tier-1 financial institutions with vibrant capital markets held to the same stringent compliance standards as the largest global economies. Equally, the certainty and credibility that Dubai assures in its adherence to these commitments, allows FTX to safely pursue its overall strategy of scaling towards becoming the first VASP to enter global markets in a fully regulated manner.

Commenting on on-boarding FTX to this ecosystem, Helal Saeed Almarri Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority that houses VARA said, "Dubai views the Virtual Assets industry as an accelerator for the Future Global Economy. Our VARA regime is structured to catalyze collaboration, foster innovation, and most critically prioritise public protection. This has hence been designed as the world's first participatory-governance model, where industry innovators and market shapers share responsibility with policy makers to create a smarter, more democratic, and borderless new economy. Licensing FTX within this specialist regime reflects our focus on enabling only the most credible global players that demonstrate a consistent commitment to future-proof this sector."