London-based crypto firm Blockchain.com said it had secured a provisional approval to operate in Dubai, becoming the latest in a series of digital asset companies expanding in the Gulf as the region looks to become a hub for blockchain technology.

The company, which offers users a crypto wallet and is also a crypto exchange, said on Friday it had signed an agreement with Dubai’s crypto regulator Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), and would open an office in the region and begin hiring.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been pushing to develop virtual asset regulation to attract new forms of business as economic competition heats up in the Gulf region.

Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven emirates and the region’s business hub, in March adopted its first law governing virtual assets and established VARA as a regulator for the sector.

Since then, the Emirate has also granted virtual asset licenses to crypto giants Binance and FTX.

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