Binance given nod for crypto license in Dubai

Binance said on Wednesday that it had become the latest firm to be granted a virtual asset license in Dubai. 

In a release, Binance said that this means it will be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers.

The license, issued under the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) initial regulatory phase, allows it to operate within Dubai's 'test-adapt-scale' virtual asset market model as a base for expansion into the region. 

In addition to growing its exchange operations, Binance will anchor a blockchain technology hub in the Dubai World Trade Centre to seed new talent, it said. 

The move comes as no surprise. In December, the firm said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai World Trade Centre authority to help it establish a crypto regulatory framework. Earlier this week, it was also granted regulatory approval in Bahrain. 

Last week, Dubai unveiled its new agency, VARA, tasked with virtual asset regulation as its leadership looks to solidify the city’s position in the emerging global digital economy.

Binance's approval follows hot on the heels of FTX. The exchange operator said on Monday it would plan its regional headquarters in the Emirati city after being granted a license. 

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Lucy is the NFT, gaming and metaverse editor at The Block. Prior to joining, she worked as a freelancer, with bylines in Wired, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.