Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced today that it has received “in-principle” approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to operate as a digital asset service provider in the country.
“I am grateful for the support from the Central Bank of Bahrain and the broader Bahrani ecosystem during the process. The approval recognizes Binance’s commitment to comply fully with regulatory requirements and our broader commitment to anchor operations and activities in Bahrain,” Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance, said.
First in MENA Region
According to the official announcement, the approval is not yet complete, as Binance is required to conclude the full application procedure.
The approval comes just as Binance had previously applied for a license to become a “fully-regulated centralized cryptocurrency exchange” in the country.
This marks the first time a Binance unit will receive regulatory approval from a regulator in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.
Binance Regulatory Woes
Globally, Binance has faced a number of regulatory and legal challenges in recent times due to its unlicensed operations and other reasons.
Back in July, Consob, the Italian regulatory body, stated that Binance does not have regulatory approval to operate in the country. The financial watchdog issued warnings to investors against using the exchange for investments as it could lead to loss of funds.
With the issue of regulatory uncertainty, just a few weeks ago, the Singapore arm of Binance withdrew its Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) application and stated that it will shut down operations by Feb 12, 2022.
Binance has also faced regulatory challenges from regulators in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Thailand, among others.
Quest For Global Headquarters
Binance has always described itself as a decentralized firm, but due to the increasing legal troubles, it is now seeking a place to set up a centralized headquarters in a bid to comply with financial regulators.
There have been several reports and speculations that Binance is likely to set up its global headquarters in the city of Dubai, UAE.
Although the location of Binance’s global headquarters is still unknown, CZ recently bought his first home in Dubai, a city he describes as “pro-crypto.”