Dubai grants operational license to Binance — a first for a crypto exchange

  • Binance would initially provide services to institutional and qualified retail investors in Dubai.
  • CEO Changpeng Zhao considers Dubai to be a “crypto hub.”

Dubai granted an operational license to the world’s leading crypto exchange Binance [BNB], the platform announced on 31 July. It was the only exchange to secure this license from authorities in Dubai.

The licensing procedure in Dubai consists of four stages. Binance has passed through three of those stages and now awaits the final stage.

The exchange received a provisional MVP license in March 2022. Later, it received a preparatory MVP license in September 2022. Once it demonstrates compliance with the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) rules and regulations, it will finally receive the Full Market Product (FMP).

Binance can provide services such as virtual asset exchange and broker-dealer services in the region. The exchange will also provide services to institutional and qualified retail investors.

The operational Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license provides for Binance users to safely convert crypto assets to fiat under VARA standards in compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rules.

Richard Teng, Binance’s Head of Regional Markets, said,

“Our priority is to be able to operate this first fully regulated exchange in, and from Dubai, in a FATF-compliant ecosystem, setting the stage for global scalability with uncompromised user assurance.”

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao “CZ” previously labelled Dubai as a “crypto hub” in a Twitter Spaces session conducted on 31 May. He highlighted the large number of crypto companies operating in the region. In addition, he praised the business-friendly policies of Dubai which, he claimed, led to a booming local economy.

Multiple accusations and failures across countries

This was certainly a significant success for Binance as it is battling regulatory scrutiny across the U.S. and Europe.

It was facing two lawsuits in the U.S. filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

In addition, it was also facing an investigation at the hands of the U.S. Department of Justice. The complaint says that Binance allowed Russians to use the platform, thereby violating U.S. sanctions.

The crypto platform’s prospects in Europe are not too bright either.

Binance recently withdrew its license application in Germany and Austria. It has also given up its registration with regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom and Cyprus. Besides, it opted to quit the Netherlands after failing to register there.

Belgium also ordered the exchange to suspend its operations in the country. The French authorities were investigating the exchange on “aggravated money laundering” charges.

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