Backpack to Launch Regulated Crypto Exchange with Dubai Nod


  • Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has granted a license to the new Backpack Exchange, a regulated cryptocurrency trading platform.
  • Backpack’s CEO, Armani Ferrante, emphasizes the platform’s commitment to setting new standards in transparency and verification in the crypto sector.
  • Coral had a significant investment in the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, with $14.5 million.

Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has approved a license for Backpack Exchange, a newly unveiled regulated cryptocurrency trading platform. This milestone achievement follows a comprehensive review by VARA, recognizing Backpack’s dedication to investor safeguarding and risk management.

The force behind this initiative is Coral, the brains of the Solana-based Backpack app, renowned for its “xNFTs” and the well-known Mad Labs profile picture collection. VARA’s endorsement pertains explicitly to the Backpack Exchange and not other facets of the app.

Armani Ferrante, the CEO and founder of Backpack, highlighted the critical need for transparency in the crypto arena. He stated, “Backpack Exchange aspires to set a new standard for clarity and adherence, emphasizing the paramountcy of verification over blind trust.”

This significant move by Backpack is noteworthy, especially in light of Coral’s previous association with the defunct crypto exchange FTX. Coral had an investment of $14.5 million, including $10 million from FTX Ventures, locked in when FTX folded in November 2022. This capital, a considerable chunk of the $20 million Coral had raised, still needs to be in reach.

The Backpack Exchange will roll out in a private beta phase this November, targeting Coral’s existing Backpack and Mad Lads audience. However, a broader public release is on the horizon for early 2024. Additionally, the exchange’s initial focus will be on spot trading of digital currencies. As Backpack acquires more global permits, they anticipate branching into derivatives, margin trading, and other spheres.

Moreover, Backpack’s forward momentum isn’t just about establishing a trading platform; it’s a testament to the evolving landscape of crypto trading, emphasizing transparency, compliance, and security for its users.

Backpack’s endeavor to introduce a regulated crypto exchange, fortified by a Dubai license, is a significant stride in the ever-expanding world of digital finance. Prioritizing user protection and transparency, this venture may pave the way for heightened standards in the cryptocurrency trading space.