Binance Holdings Ltd. has received licenses to be a crypto service provider in Dubai and Bahrain, a key milestone for the world’s largest digital-asset exchange as it sets up the stage for a major push in the Middle East.
Binance got a license to be the first anchor in Dubai World Trade Centre, an economic free zone, a person familiar with the matter said. It also won a license from the Bahrain’s central bank to be a crypto-asset service provider in the kingdom, Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao tweeted. The pair of licenses marked the exchange’s first regulatory approvals in the Middle East region.
Binance’s move underscores its increased focus on the Middle East. Founded in China in 2017 but banished from the country during its crypto crackdown, Binance has faced regulatory probes globally. Its executives have been talking with regulators in the United Arab Emirates about setting a potential headquarters, Bloomberg News has reported.
Bahrain, the Gulf’s smallest economy, has been one of the Middle East’s early adopters in the digital assets space. The license will allow Binance to provide crypto-asset trading, custodial services and portfolio management to customers under the supervision of the Bahrain regulators.