Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has reached an agreement with Dubai’s commercial authorities to look at creating a global hub for the cryptocurrency industry.
The exchange’s CEO – Changpeng Zhao (CZ) – is understood to have signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the city’s World Trade Centre Authority which, although not binding, lays the foundations for discussion over the plans.
“The goal is to help crypto exchanges, or businesses that offer blockchain and DLT services, or a wide range of digital currencies and assets to become licensed in Dubai,” Binance said.
The ‘free zone’ DWTCA agreed a framework in September that would allow it to approve and grant licenses to digital asset operations. A separate organisation – the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – last month issued the first part of a regulatory framework for digital tokens.
“Through our leadership position and expertise, combined with the long-term vision of Dubai, we plan to develop a regulatory framework appropriate to fit the fast-moving and progressive nature of virtual assets,” CZ responded.
2021 has proved a difficult year for Binance.
The UK’s FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) issued a consumer warning to its London-based operation – Binance Markets Limited – after suggesting Binance had failed to provide it with basic information required for regulation.
Binance was then hit with similar warnings from Japan and Holland before Italy and the Cayman Islands declared the exchange would not be licensed.
Malaysia also declared it an illegal operation, while Binance itself withdrew an application for a licence in Singapore – home of its CEO.
A spokesman for the DWTCA said the plans for a crypto hub would provide opportunities for growth.
“The new Virtual Assets Hub in Dubai will connect service providers, technology enablers, and governments to co-create the next generation future economy ecosystem for the Virtual Assets industry,” they said.
“Our pioneering ‘test-adapt-scale’ model is designed to accelerate secure, equitable and sustainable access to new growth opportunities, aiding Dubai’s vision for a fully digital and inclusive global society.”