The world’s biggest crypto exchange platform Binance has received approval from Abu Dhabi regulators to operate digital assets. The exchange platform which has been looking to strengthen its presence in the Middle East said it was given approval “in principle” by Abu Dhabi regulators to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets.
According to what Binance said on Sunday, the approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market is the first step to becoming a “fully-regulated virtual asset service provider” in the city.
The announcement follows that of a crypto license received last month by Binance. Abu Dhabi is therefore the second license it is acquiring in the UAE. It also follows the license it received from Bahrain’s central bank – the first of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to what the exchange platform and Bahrain’s central bank said.
The increased push into the Middle East follows the challenges and setbacks Binance has faced from other countries and their regulators.
In Singapore for instance, Binance services are limited. Last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement stating that the operations of Binance.com (the international version and main exchange) in the country were in breach of the Payment Services Act. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which is the country’s central bank that supervises the cryptocurrency sector in the country, said it required Binance.com to stop providing payments to Singapore residents and to “cease soliciting such business from Singapore residents.” The financial watchdog went further to list Binance on its Investor Alert list, serving to warn consumers that the company is not authorized to provide any payment services in Singapore.
Around the same period, Binance was probed by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), for insider trading and market manipulation but the company debunked any claim of unethicality, or criminality, in their dealings.
In the UK too, Binance is banned. The ban was issued in a statement dated June 25th by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The financial regulator, in its statement, declared that Binance could no longer conduct any regulated activity and that consumers should be wary of using the platform in any way. “Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK”, the FCA said.
The license Binance acquired from Abu Dhabi regulators is a big win and will help the company in its quest to deepen its foothold in the Middle East.