Dubai’s crypto regulator sets up new metaverse headquarters

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On Tuesday, May 3rd, Dubai’s crypto regulatory board Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) set up headquarters in the metaverse. The established headquarters will be named MetaHQ and it will be created in an unknown location on The Sandbox platform.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, announced the development on his official site on May 3 and highlighted VARA’s establishment of the MetaHQ as the first both in Dubai and the world: 

‘Today, VARA joins the metaverse to become Dubai’s—and the metaverse’s—first government authority, ushering in a new era in which Dubai Government utilizes modern innovations to extend its services.’

In the same statement, the crown prince added ‘By expanding VARA’s resources to a borderless audience through the Metaverse, Dubai is creating a prototype Decentralised Regulator Model, inviting international thought leaders—global authorities, governance custodians, and industry shapers—to participate, exchange knowledge, and problem-solve collectively so that we enable the dynamic virtual assets sector to build economic resilience, accelerate social inclusion, and address environmental sustainability.’

According to a statement from VARA to the WAM news agency, the goal of MetaHQ is to let users in Dubai safely adapt to the emerging virtual world that is the metaverse. It plans to achieve its goals by granting them access to various resources found on the platform.

Sebastien Borget, the co-founder of The Sandbox platform welcomed the regulatory board in a tweet last May 3, saying ‘We are thrilled to witness the progressive mission of Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and the UAE, establishing itself at the forefront of innovation to enable the current global movement by being the first regulator in the open metaverse.’

The Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) was only recently launched back in March in order to have a watchdog that oversees all crypto transactions in the country. Aside from that, they also watch over the trading of each virtual asset in Dubai including non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

On the other hand, The Sandbox platform is built on the Ethereum blockchain and was launched back in November of 2021. It allowed people from around the world to meet virtually, play games, purchase plots of land and most importantly, earn virtual currency. The project was positively received with a total of around 16,000 individuals already purchasing plots of land on launch day. The platform was launched thanks to funding from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

Since its launch, Sandbox has already gained backers ranging from world-famous rapper Snoop Dogg to sportswear brand Adidas and more. 

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