South African Crypto Exchange Valr Receives 'Initial Approval' From Dubai Virtual Assets Regulator

Valr, the South Africa-based crypto exchange, recently said it had won initial approval from the Dubai virtual assets regulator. The crypto exchange’s Head of Growth, Blake Player, said Valr has been attracted by the Middle East region’s significant crypto flows and in particular Dubai’s growing reputation “as a forward-thinking and pragmatic jurisdiction.”

Valr Cannot Offer Any Virtual Asset Services Just Yet

The South African cryptocurrency exchange, Valr, recently said it had “won an initial approval” from Dubai’s crypto assets regulator, the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). According to the crypto exchange, winning this approval is a critical step for Valr which is seeking to establish a presence outside South Africa. The approval however does “not allow Valr to undertake any virtual asset services yet.”

Explaining the rationale behind the decision to seek an operating license from VARA, the crypto exchange’s CEO Farzam Ehsani highlighted VARA’s role as a world-leading regulator and his firm’s desire to reach a more global audience.

“For the past 5 years, VALR has been working closely with regulators to inform regulatory frameworks that protect the public while allowing responsible innovation to flourish. This initial approval from VARA is a significant milestone for VALR to bring our products and services to a more global audience under the auspices of a world-leading regulator,” Ehsani said.

Dubai’s Reputation as a Forward-Thinking Jurisdiction

In early 2022, Valr said it had successfully raised $50 million in a Series B funding round which was led by Pantera Capital. At the time, the crypto exchange said the capital raised would be used to expand into other African markets and emerging markets like India. Valr also said it would add more products and services to its clientele.

Commenting on Valr’s pivot to the Middle East, the crypto exchange’s Head of Growth, Blake Player, cited the region’s significant crypto flows and in particular Dubai’s growing reputation “as a forward-thinking and pragmatic jurisdiction.”

“Setting up in Dubai provides an excellent opportunity to serve the regional market and a global customer base from a crypto and business-friendly jurisdiction,” Player added.

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