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Middle East & Africa Regtech

Deribit Reveals Licence Nod from Dubai’s VARA, New CEO and Relocated HQ

Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has granted Deribit FZE, the Dubai-based arm of the Deribit group, a conditional virtual asset service provider (VASP) licence for VA exchange services.

The licence, which covers both spot and derivatives trading, remains non-operational until Deribit meets all remaining conditions and select localisation requirements defined by VARA.

Deribit has also revealed it is relocating its global headquarters to Dubai and appoints Luuk Strijers, who joined the firm in 2019 as chief commercial officer, as CEO alongside two non-executive directors (NEDs) – Dennis Dijkstra, former CEO of Flow Traders, and industry veteran Willem Meijer.

The company will collaborate closely with VARA to finalise steps for the official launch of the exchange in Dubai. Once operational, Deribit will cater to institutional and qualified investors, providing access to its advanced technology. Additionally, it will maintain services for retail clients through its broker affiliate in Panama, affiliated with Deribit FZE in Dubai, until further updates

Driving innovation

Strijers described his new role as ‘a huge honour’. He also added: VARA’s progressive regulatory framework opens up vast opportunities in the digital asset realm. Our strong position in the crypto options market reflects the trust our clients have in us. I’m thrilled to work with our loyal clientele and drive Deribit’s innovation, as we continue to lead in the evolving crypto marketplace.”

John Jansen, co-founder of Deribit, also added: “Today marks a monumental chapter in Deribit’s story. Securing the conditional VASP licence from VARA is not just a regulatory milestone; it’s a sign of our unwavering commitment to providing a secure, transparent, and innovative platform for our users.

“The appointment of a new CEO and two seasoned NEDs signifies a fusion of fresh insights and extensive experience, fortifying our strategy for long-term growth. As we anchor our operations in Dubai, we’re not only extending our reach but also reaffirming our resolve to remain the platform of choice for trading.

“This is a giant stride towards realising our ambitious vision, and it invigorates our journey in steering the crypto industry to new horizons.”


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