Bitcoin and ether options exchange Deribit — the world’s largest by volume and open interest – is eyeing a move to Dubai as regulators begin to provide greater clarity on crypto regulatory guardrails there.
The exchange plans to open a Dubai office staffed by a team of 10 people composed of both local hires and the company’s existing talent, Deribit Chief Legal, Compliance and Regulatory Officer David Dohmen told Bloomberg. The move could take place as soon as this summer.
The Panamanian exchange is also planning expansion into Brazil, the U.K. and Singapore, said Dohmen.
Dubai has painted itself as a forward-thinking hub for crypto companies seeking kinder treatment from regulators during the market downturn. In recent months, the emirate has granted licenses to crypto exchanges including Binance, Bybit and Komainu.
The construction-centric capital has been gunning to attract more crypto companies as it contends with a housing market slowdown that has hindered its famed real estate industry. Over the summer the emirate unveiled a metaverse initiative that aims to bring more than 1,000 blockchain and metaverse companies to the city and 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030.
The implosion of prolific crypto exchanges such as FTX has forced regulators in the United Arab Emirates to rethink Dubai's desire to convert itself into the Middle East's premier crypto hub. The Gulf state laid out more stringent rules for businesses setting up shop in the UAE early this year in an effort to curb their power.