FTX Exchange FZE, the first Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) to receive the MVP license to operate its Virtual Asset (VA) Exchange and Clearing House services in Dubai, announced that its parent company, FTX Europe, has received approval from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), to operate as a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) allowing the company to fully own the local investment firm it previously acquired.
Mohammad Hans Dastmaltchi, Chairman of the Board of FTX Exchange FZE, said, “The approval is a big boost to FTX’s international growth plans, having recently launched its operations in Europe, and comes at a time when the Middle East division is set to commence operations soon.”
“This is an important milestone for FTX that will help consolidate the company’s position as a leader in the international crypto exchange market”, he added.
Earlier this year, FTX received a provisional license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) that will enable the company’s VA Exchange to deploy regulated crypto derivatives products, and trading services to Qualified Institutional Investors across the MENA region. In addition, the VARA MVP Licence also grants FTX permission to act as a Clearing House, operate an NFT Marketplace, and provide Custodial Services under tightly prescribed parameters for a specific class of consumers – assuring strong guardrails for market protection and economic security.
With the Cyprus Investment Firm License, FTX EU can serve the whole European Economic Area. FTX is the only crypto exchange worldwide to provide a full suite of exchange services under a full MiFID II license, which is held to much higher standards than local registrations as Crypto Asset Service Providers.
Patrick Gruhn, Head of FTX Europe, commented on the news, “After launching our European operations earlier this year we’re excited to receive approval from the regulators in Cyprus. Operating under this license will further our goal of being a European entity regulated to the highest standard. We look forward to continuing our productive relationship with CySEC as we continue to expand our European offerings.”
The Cyprus Investment Firm License granted by CySEC will require FTX EU to adhere to rigorous financial standards under European Directive 2014/65/EU on Markets in Financial Instruments (commonly known as “MiFID II” framework), which include the segregation and protection of client funds, full transparency of its business operations, and capital adequacy controls.
Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO & Founder of FTX, concluded, “Securing this license in the European Union is an important step in achieving our goal of becoming one of the most regulated exchanges in the world. We are continuing to work with CySEC and regulators across the globe to be the leader in the digital asset industry when it comes to meeting the financial standards that are expected of traditional financial institutions.”
Cyprus is a highly reputed jurisdiction for investment firms and provides regulated firms access to the entire European Economic Area also known as “passporting”, which includes the member states of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
FTX Europe currently offers FTX’s leading products and services to European clients via a licensed investment firm with “passportable” licenses across the European economic area.