Binance Wins Crypto License In Bahrain Amid Middle East Expansion

Binancewhich runs the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said Tuesday that it has been granted a license to operate as a crypto asset service provider in Bahrain, strengthening the company’s foothold in the Middle East as its trading platform faces increased scrutiny from financial regulators elsewhere.

“The Bahrain license is a milestone in our journey to become fully licensed and regulated worldwide.” Chang Peng Zhao, co-founder and CEO of Binance, said in a statement. “I am proud of the hard work of the Binance team to meet the strict criteria of the Central Bank of Bahrain, not only locally but globally, by ensuring that we meet and exceed the requirements of regulators and protect users with strong measures against money laundering. and policies against the financing of terrorism”.

Binance said that the license was the first of its kind for the company in the Gulf states. The regulatory green light will allow Binance to provide crypto asset trading, custody and portfolio management services to clients, the firm added.

Binance, a Cayman Islands-registered company, has been shifting its focus to the Middle East as its massive crypto trading unit draws scrutiny from regulators in at least a dozen other jurisdictions, primarily focused on concerns over practices. and company anti-money laundering investments. risks posed to traders.

Earlier last week, Britain’s financial watchdog said it lacked the powers to access the “fitness and ownership” of crypto asset custodian Digivault’s new beneficial owner, after its parent company Eqonex, headquartered in Singapore, will enter into a strategic partnership with the payments arm of Binance. The Financial Conduct Authority, which issued warnings to the exchange last year for operating without a permit, said its concerns about Binance have yet to be addressed.

Meanwhile, Binance has been moving quickly to expand its business in other parts of the world. The company announced on Monday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to buy Brazilian securities brokerage Sim;paul Investimentos. The firm is authorized by Brazil’s central bank and stock market authority, Binance said. The acquisition, which will require approval from regulatory officials, is aimed at further expanding Binance’s business in the South American nation.

In December, Binance also signed a cooperation agreement with the Dubai World Trade Center, which aims to establish an “international virtual asset ecosystem” and help develop crypto regulations in the United Arab Emirates.

Binance, founded in 2017, first began operations in China but later moved its headquarters outside the country as the government increasingly cracked down on cryptocurrencies. The firm quickly grew to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by a considerable margin, processing $504 billion worth of digital asset spot transactions in January alone, according to data provider CryptoCompare. His business now also covers decentralized finance, payments, investments, and education. (Disclosure: Binance recently announced a strategic investment in Forbes.)