Crypto exchange Deribit is setting up shop in Dubai as it works to execute on a new strategy aimed at maintaining its dominance in the crypto options market, the exchange confirmed to The Block.
The firm, which has operations in Panama and Amsterdam, will move the exchange’s main headquarters to the burgeoning crypto center as it seeks a Full Market Product license under the so-called Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) regime, the firm’s Chief Commercial Officer Luuk Strijers told The Block. The Dubai office will house staff including management, compliance and support roles.
The move to secure a license in Dubai is part of a broader push by the firm to instill greater confidence in its exchange in the wake of the meltdown of defunct derivatives exchange FTX. The firm also plans to secure a top four auditing firm and release proof of reserves snapshots on a daily basis.
“Clients want checkboxes, check for audit, check for custody, check for license,” Strijers said.
Deribit’s marketshare in bitcoin options stands above 90%, according to The Block’s data dashboard.
“Two years ago clients onboarded with us, and once we said they were good to go they could start trading,” Strijers added. “Now it’s mutual onboarding and we have to complete lengthy due diligence forms and checks to make sure they feel comfortable with us.”
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