The world’s largest crypto exchange platform Binance has received a crypto asset service provider license from Bahrain’s central bank. The license acquired by Binance is the first of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to what the company and Bahrain’s central bank said.
In a joint statement with Bahraini authorities, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that “The license from Bahrain is a milestone in our journey to being fully licensed and regulated around the world,” adding that the regulatory requirement set by the authorities will “protect users with strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies.”
The license which is a big win for Binance comes after the exchange platform has faced regulatory scrutiny from regulators around the world. Some went as far as preventing the exchange platform from carrying out some activities stating that it was not licensed to perform them. The license acquired by Binance in Bahrain will see it be able to perform crypto asset trading, custodial services and portfolio management.
Binance is trying to strengthen its presence in the GCC region and is already taking action in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In December last year, the exchange platform said it was working alongside the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) to set up an international virtual asset ecosystem as well as with the development of virtual asset regulations.
In the wake of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, the Ukrainian government has urged exchange platforms to block the accounts of Russian users. The exchange said it will not be freezing the accounts of its Russian users following a plea from the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation. “We are not going to unilaterally freeze millions of innocent users’ accounts. Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists,” a Binance spokesperson said.