Binance eyes United Arab Emirates as ‘focal point’ for future operations
June 26, 2023

Binance eyes United Arab Emirates as ‘focal point’ for future operations

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The United Arab Emirates is becoming the next big focus for Binance in the wake of a slew of enforcement actions in the United States against the crypto exchange.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Binance Dubai general manager Alex Chehade said the UAE is a prime destination for crypto businesses seeking a clear path forward and noted its friendly stance toward digital assets.

“Binance identified that the senior leadership of the UAE wanted to establish the region as a focal point for Web3. They’re trying to diversify away from fossil fuels and they see [crypto] as a great driver for doing so,” said Chehade

Ultimately, the clear crypto regulations in the UAE make the region attractive to exchanges like Binance, which is currently wrestling with legal disputes from regulators in the U.S., including the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

“Binance is here [in the UAE] because we’ve been given the surety that we can set up operations and build for the future,” he explained, adding:

“You don’t want to set up where the goalposts move. For big businesses, you need predictability, you need to plan and you need to budget.”

Chehade noted the UAE’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) as a key driving force behind the surge of crypto-related interest in the region.

“There’s a clear framework for people and businesses to engage with, whereas you’re just not seeing as much of that elsewhere,” he said.

Beyond regulation, Chehade said the influx of young people moving to the UAE could see the region more rapidly adopt crypto than other digital asset hubs.

“The two key drivers are that lots of expatriates are moving here from Europe and Asia, and the overall demographic is younger as well — and we know that younger people have a more favorable mindset when it comes to virtual assets.”

“You don’t see that so much in other crypto hubs.”

Merkle Science CEO Mriganka Pattnaik also praised the regulatory landscape in the UAE, noting that VARA, as the world’s first virtual asset-specific regulator, provides very detailed compliance guidelines for firms working under its purview.

Related: Dubai’s VARA approves OKX ‘preparatory’ license as part of exchange’s expansion plans

“There’s more interaction with the private sector and regulators because it’s a smaller, early-stage ecosystem,” Pattnaik told Cointelegraph. “It’s also easier to hire teams in the UAE or just build out a team of 100 people, all of whom don’t come from the region.”

On February 7, VARA released its Full Market Product Regulations, which include four compulsory, activity-specific rulebooks that lay down the rules for virtual asset service providers operating in Dubai.

Binance received a preparatory minimal viable product license from VARA in September 2021.

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