Binance approved in principle by Abu Dhabi as digital asset broker-dealer

Binance received in-principle approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume must now complete the application process, according to Richard Teng, Binance’s head for the Middle East and North Africa and a former ADGM executive.

If the licensing for Abu Dhabi -- the UAE capital -- is successful, Binance will offer services to clients across the MENA region through its subsidiary Binance (AD). It has been expanding its presence in the Persian Gulf, including a license approval from Dubai, the commercial capital of the UAE.

It received the Dubai virtual asset license last month, The Block reported. Binance said at the time that it would be permitted to extend limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers.

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

Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s co-founder and CEO, said last month that Dubai would be his base for the foreseeable future and by “any common interpretation,” the company’s headquarters, Bloomberg reported.

The company’s American affiliate, Binance.US, closed an inaugural funding round last week, The Block reported. It raised more than $200 million in a seed round at a pre-money valuation of $4.5 billion.