Binance has today been granted a Virtual Asset Licence to enable it to operate within Dubai’s ‘test-adapt-scale’ virtual asset market model as a base for expansion into the region.
The move comes just 48 hours after Binance was granted a crypto-asset service provider licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
Under the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) initial regulatory phase, which includes rigorous regulatory oversight and mandatory FATF compliance controls, Binance will be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers.
All licensed VARA service providers will be monitored progressively to open access to the retail market. In addition to its exchange operations, Binance will anchor a blockchain technology hub in the Dubai World Trade Centre, to seed new talent and build a vibrant blockchain ecosystem.
Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said high standards of regulation and compliance were critical to the development and maturing of the global crypto and blockchain industry, and it was a leading factor in achieving the Dubai licence.
“Binance is appreciative of being awarded this license in such a progressive regime, targeting uncompromised governance and market security,” he said.
“The collaborative way in which Binance has been engaged to bring proven industry compliance leading experience to the Dubai ecosystem is indicative of the unique operating model that the VARA is creating for the global industry.”
Commenting on Binance joining the new Virtual Asset ecosystem, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai World Trade Centre Authority that houses VARA said the new VARA was symbolic of Dubai’s confidence in the potential of the digital economy.
“To this end, our regime is structured to catalyse collaboration, foster innovation, and most critically secure public interest,” he said.
“Onboarding Binance within the VARA is reflective of their commitment to the Dubai agenda – to provide the global industry the certainty of governance, enabled by ‘shared industry responsibility’ and legislative security for society.”
Dubai is the first global economy to have set up a specialised regulator for the VA sector and will be further developing a VARA governed ecosystem of credible, reputable and innovative international leaders. The VARA-issued Virtual Asset Exchange License ensures 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.