Binance seeks to open shop in Dubai, strengthening its foothold in the Middle East

Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s biggest centralized crypto exchange by trading volume, is in talks with authorities in Dubai over a license to operate in the Gulf city-state. If granted, the license would help the company to further bolster its operations in the Middle East, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has already received preliminary approval from the central bank of Bahrain to be a crypto-asset service provider in Dubai’s neighboring kingdom. This time, Binance is in discussions with Dubai World Trade Centre free zone for a virtual asset service provider license.

Dubai wants to attract the world’s biggest crypto companies

Dubai is on a spree to attract some of the world’s biggest crypto companies in a strategical effort to become a local harbor for the crypto industry. The United Arab Emirates, UAE, of which Dubai is a part, is poised to issue federal licenses for virtual asset service providers by the end of the first quarter, and Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has become a fixture in the country’s crypto scene.

Earlier on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg, Dubai adopted a law to regulate virtual assets.

“We welcome this important development. We continue to work closely with the DWTC to help establish Dubai as a world-class and progressive crypto regulatory environment,” Richard Teng, head of MENA for Binance, said in a statement.

The application for a license to operate in Dubai may be seen as a move by the company to be grounded in the region. Binance (BNB) was founded in China in 2017 by Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, but the question of where the company is headquartered is a matter of debate outside the company leadership. In recent months, company executives have held talks with regulators in the UAE about a potential headquarters in the country.

“UAE is rapidly developing into a global leader in virtual asset”

Binance is far from the only crypto company looking to establish or expand business in the Gulf Region snd the Middle East.

“The UAE is rapidly developing into a global leader for enabling regulation of virtual assets,” said Ola Doudin, the CEO of BitOasis, the first virtual asset service provider to be recognized in the country. “We are fully committed to playing our role to work with, support and be licensed by regulators across the UAE.”

according to data compiled by Chainalysis from July 2020 to June 2021, The UAE is the Middle East’s third-largest crypto market, trailing Turkey and Lebanon, with a transaction volume of about $26 billion.

Apart from trying to establish themselves in an increasing number of regions, Binance is also looking into alternative business areas, outside of crypto, as recently reported by CryptoSlate. Having conquered cryptocurrency, the firm is now keen to expand its operations into every economic sector.

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