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Binance Granted License in Dubai Following Bahrain License Approval

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Boltman
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In Brief

  • The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has been granted a license to conduct some operations in Dubai.
  • Dubai’s recently formed Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) granted the Virtual Asset license to Binance Holding Ltd.,
  • The crypto company also plans to base a blockchain technology hub out of the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC).
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The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has been granted a license to conduct some operations in Dubai.

Dubai’s recently formed Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) granted the Virtual Asset license to Binance Holding Ltd., according to a post on the company’s blog. Dubai established VARA as a regulator to oversee the sector, after passing legislation last week.

“Binance will be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers,” Binance said. “All licensed VARA service providers will be monitored progressively to open access to the retail market.” 

The crypto company also plans to base a blockchain technology hub out of the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC). Last year, Binance started working with DWTC in order to establish an international virtual asset ecosystem in Dubai, in which it assisted with the development of virtual asset regulations. 

“Binance will be able to operate its regional business from Dubai in the newly announced regulatory ecosystem that is subject to comprehensive legislation and internationally applicable policy frameworks,” said DWTC Authority Director General Helal Saeed Almarri.

Regional competition

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which includes Dubai, has been working to develop its virtual asset sector, drafting appealing regulations to draw in new businesses amidst regional economic competition. 

In addition to Binance, FTX was also recently granted approval to operate in Dubai. FTX plans to establish a regional headquarters in the city and offer “crypto-derivatives products with centralized counterparty clearing to institutional markets,” CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said.

Meanwhile, Gulf neighbor Bahrain awarded Binance a crypto-asset service provider license earlier this week, the first such license from a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country. Under the license, Binance is allowed to offer services such as trading, portfolio management, and crypto withdrawals for citizens in Bahrain.

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Nicholas Pongratz
Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.
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