Binance is in talks to acquire an operating license in Dubai, according to a Bloomberg source.
If discussions go well, Dubai World Trade Centre free zone will issue a virtual asset service provider license to the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.
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Last year, Binance signed an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) to “help advance Dubai’s commitment to establishing a new international Virtual Asset ecosystem.”
Recently, company executives have been seen with regulators in the UAE, and speculation has risen about a potential headquarters in the country.
Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has also become a fixture on the country’s crypto scene and recently bought his first home there.
The move is part of greater efforts to draw some of the world’s greatest crypto talent to Dubai. Last week, Dubai approved a virtual assets law, establishing the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority.
The UAE, of which Dubai is a part, is also looking to issue federal licenses to more virtual asset service providers by the end of the first quarter, which should facilitate other crypto companies who are looking to expand their local presence.
“The UAE is rapidly developing into a global leader for enabling regulation of virtual assets,” said Ola Doudin, the CEO of BitOasis, the first virtual asset service provider recognized in the country.
“We are fully committed to playing our role to work with, support, and be licensed by regulators across the UAE.”
With a transaction volume of about $26bn between July 2020 to June 2021, the UAE is the Middle East’s third-largest crypto market, according to data compiled by Chainalysis.
Binance buying big
In addition to its assistance and expansion in Dubai, Binance has also received in-principle approval from Bahrain’s central bank to be a crypto-asset service provider in the kingdom.
Recently, Zhao announced an acquisition spree in order to further integrate cryptocurrencies. “We want to identify and invest in one or two targets in every economic sector and try to bring them into crypto,” he explained.
Binance initiated the strategy earlier this year with its $200m investment in the US-based publisher Forbes.
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