Binance and FTX Acquire Middle East Licenses in Bahrain and Dubai

Popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and FTX, have recently acquired Middle East licenses to operate in Bahrain and Dubai, respectively.

Binance Acquires Bahrain License

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has received a crypto-asset service provider license from Bahrain’s central bank (CBB) three months after it received an “in-principle” approval from the bank. 

Recall that in December 2021, Binance received an “in-principle” approval from the CBB to offer its services in the country after the exchange applied to become a “fully-regulated centralized cryptocurrency exchange” in the region. 

According to the official announcement, the latest milestone is the exchange’s first license as a crypto-asset provider in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It also demonstrates Binance’s commitment to regulatory compliance as one of the first global crypto companies in the region. 

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, commented, saying:

“The licensing from Bahrain is a milestone in our journey to being fully licensed and regulated around the world,”  adding that the regulatory requirements will “protect users with strong anti-money laundering and counter terrorism policies.” 

The license will allow Binance to offer crypto-asset trading, custodial services and portfolio management to users, which will be managed by Bahrain regulators. 

FTX Bags Operational License in Dubai

Leading crypto exchange FTX also announced today that it has become a fully regulated trading platform in Dubai after receiving an operational license that allows the company to provide Exchange and Clearing services to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“FTX receiving this approval is a continuation of our mission to be at the forefront of licensing and regulation around the world. We plan to continue playing a leading role in advancing the digital asset industry in countries that provide a robust regulatory framework, while also operating with the highest security, risk, and investor protection standards,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX.

The crypto exchange is the first to obtain such authorization under Dubai’s prudential regime to introduce complex crypto derivatives products to the UAE market with a centralized trading institution.

Both announcements mark the first time crypto exchanges will receive regulatory approval from regulators in the Middle East’s North Africa (MENA) region.

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