Norton Rose Fulbright advises world’s third busiest crypto exchange on UAE move
Bybit relocates global headquarters to Dubai after introduction of new virtual assets law
Norton Rose Fulbright has advised cryptocurrency exchange Bybit on its entry into the UAE market as the platform switches its global headquarters from Singapore to Dubai.
The move comes after the UAE in February approved a new digital assets law to improve regulatory certainty for crypto businesses and support the growth of the industry in the Middle East.
Norton Rose Fulbright assisted Bybit to set up its technology and software business and investment arm in the UAE’s free zones, the Dubai World Trade Centre and the Dubai International Financial Centre. The firm’s Dubai office led the negotiations with the UAE regulator to enable the crypto platform to operate in the country.
Jonathan Burton, corporate counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright in Dubai, said: “This is an exciting new sector, in which there is a huge amount of opportunity, and we look forward to seeing its continued growth across the region in the coming months.”
Bybit, which was founded in 2018, is the world’s third largest crypto exchange by number of visits.
Ben Zhou, Bybit co-founder and CEO, said: “We are excited to be serving global users from our new home in the UAE via the Bybit platform… The UAE’s forward-thinking vision to establish itself as a global digital hub is a great fit with Bybit’s culture of innovation.”
As part of the new law, the UAE has created a specialist regulator to oversee the crypto market – the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority.
Speaking last month, UAE foreign trade minister Thani Al Zeyoudi said: “Bybit’s decision to open its global headquarters in Dubai is a milestone in our efforts to position the UAE as a global digital hub. Virtual assets such as cryptocurrency and blockchain have changed finance forever. To stay ahead in this fast-changing industry, we are building a business-friendly ecosystem with robust regulations to attract, retain and enable high-growth companies.”
Last month, Gunnercooke became the first top 200 UK law firm to accept crypto assets as payment. That follows a number of large US firms and smaller boutique firms in the UK who also accept payments in crypto.