Leading global cryptocurrency exchange FTX is expanding its operations in the United Arab Emirates by receiving a virtual asset license in Dubai.

The license is apparently granted under a new cryptocurrency law passed last week in Dubai, with the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) becoming a major crypto regulator in special development and free zones of the emirate.

According to FTX Founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX has been awarded Dubai’s “first and so far only” digital exchange license.

Binance also obtained a crypto license in Dubai under the same program, according to a Bloomberg report. The world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volumes reportedly worked to receive an operational license in Dubai last week.

As part of its Dubai push, FTX plans to establish a regional headquarters in the city and offer crypto derivatives with centralized counterparty clearing to institutional investors, Bankman-Fried said.

FTX Europe and Middle East division FTX Europe is among the anchors of the Dubai World Trade Center, which became a comprehensive zone and regulator of cryptocurrencies, products and operators in December 2021. As reported previously, Binance was among the first crypto exchanges to join a new crypto hub created by the Dubai World Trade Center Authority last year.

“The certainty and credibility Dubai provides in adhering to these commitments allows FTX to safely pursue its global scaling strategy to become the first virtual asset service provider to enter global fully regulated manner,” said Patrick Gruhn, Director of FTX Europe. .

Related: Binance Obtains CSP License in Bahrain

Cointelegraph has contacted Binance, FTX and Dubai authorities for further information, but received no comment at the time of publication.

The UAE has become one of the most crypto-friendly countries as the authorities in its capital, Dubai, have stepped up their efforts to allow the development of the crypto industry. As previously reported, UAE regulators proposed several deals to allow crypto trading in several free economic zones in Dubai last year.