Abu Dhabi Global Market has granted Binance Holdings Ltd. in-principle approval to operate as a virtual assets broker.
Bloomberg quotes Richard Teng, the company’s head for the Middle East and North Africa and a former ADGM executive, as saying that the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume still needs to complete the application process.
Through its subsidiary, Binance (AD) Ltd., the exchange said it could then offer its virtual asset services in MENA via Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It marks a push by the company to expand its presence in the Persian Gulf, following approvals in Bahrain and Dubai, the commercial capital of the UAE.
“Binance has been actively engaging global regulators, such as ADGM, as part of its ongoing commitment to uphold global standards and collectively foster the developments and sustainable growth of the crypto ecosystem,” Teng said.
Particularly in the UAE, cryptocurrency exchanges have emerged as preferred jurisdictions. Binance’s biggest rival, FTX, received a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license in Dubai last month. As the country’s first VASP, BitOasis has also been provisionally approved by the regulatory body. Crypto.com and Bybit are also expanding their product offerings in the country.
Zhao Changpeng, Binance’s co-founder and CEO, told Bloomberg late last month that Dubai would be his base for the “foreseeable future” and he would regard it as the company’s headquarters by “any common interpretation.”. Several of the firm’s employees will follow his lead and move to the skyscraper-studded city in the months to come, he said.