Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is now setting up base in Dubai.
It announced in a statement that it has been granted a Virtual Asset Licence that will allow it to operate within Dubai’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ virtual asset market model as a base for expansion into the region.
Notably, Dubai introduced its first virtual asset regulations a few days back. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai, announced on Twitter that the emirate has enacted its first law governing virtual assets, and it has also formed an independent regulator to regulate the cryptocurrency sector.
According to the press statement issued by Binance, the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) will enforce rigorous regulatory oversight and mandatory FATF compliance controls in the initial regulatory phase.
“Binance will be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers,” Binance said in a statement.
Also, all licenced VARA service providers will be monitored progressively to open access to the retail market.
Binance said it will also anchor a blockchain technology hub in the Dubai World Trade Centre, to seed new talent and build a vibrant blockchain ecosystem.
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the founder and CEO of Binance, said: “High standards of regulation and compliance are critical to the development and maturing of the global crypto and blockchain industry, which is why our team has been working tirelessly to demonstrate how we meet and exceed the requirements of regulators, such as the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority.”
Earlier in December, several media reports had mentioned that Binance was working with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) to help set up an international virtual asset ecosystem in Dubai and assist with the development of virtual asset regulations.
“The new VARA is symbolic of Dubai’s confidence in the potential of this future economy driver, if introduced with prudence and legitimacy. To this end, our regime is structured to catalyse collaboration, foster innovation, and most critically, secure public interest,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
“On-boarding Binance within the VARA is reflective of their commitment to our agenda to provide the global industry the certainty of governance, enabled by shared industry responsibility, and legislative security for society,” he added.
Interestingly, this is the second operating licence that Binance has received in the Middle East. Earlier this week, it had announced a similar award from the Central Bank of Bahrain, following which Binance became the first company to be licensed as a crypto-asset provider in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).
Added Zhao: “The crypto-asset licence will allow Binance to provide crypto-asset trading, custodial services, and portfolio management to customers under the supervision of the Bahrain regulators.”