Binance Holdings Ltd. is currently in deliberations on a license to operate in Dubai, thus increasing its presence in the Middle East.

This was first reported by Bloomberg, citing a “person familiar with the matter.”

Binance anticipates an accreditation to operate as a service provider in the Dubai World Trade Center ‘free zone’ as soon as possible. This comes after the EU clarified that cryptocurrencies “are subject to the sanctions imposed by them on Russia and Belarus.” The country recently passed a new law on the governance of various virtual assets. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is attempting to propel the Arab state as the world’s leading crypto hub.

“Regulatory clarity is very important. This new virtual asset law in Dubai is a big step forward”, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a retweet of Sheik Mohammed on the future of the city in Crypto.

In December last year, Binance signed an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWTCA) to develop and establish it as a global hub for various global virtual assets. This authority will oversee the issuance and trading of virtual assets and companies providing crypto services will first need to obtain its approval. In addition, the new regulator will also “monitor transactions and prevent price manipulation of virtual assets.” The UAE state has taken a proactive stance on crypto assets for a few years. For example, the Dubai International Financial Center established the “Blockchain Court” in 2018.

“We welcome this important development,” said Richard Teng, director of MENA for Binance, in a statement. “We continue to work closely with the DWTC to help establish Dubai as a world-class, progressive crypto regulatory environment.”

The company was founded in China, but has not yet established a global base. In recent months, Binance executives have been in talks with regulators in the United Arab Emirates about a possible headquarters in the country. The United Arab Emirates is the third-largest crypto market in the Middle East, behind Turkey and Lebanon, with a transaction volume of about $26 billion, according to data from Chainalysis, compiled from July 2020 to June 2021.

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