Thanks to a licence given by Bahrain central bank, cryptocurrency exchange Binance will be able to deliver fully regulated services to its first country in the Middle East.
Bahrain was able to obtain the licence through the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). On March 14, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the world’s largest exchange, announced the licence for crypto-asset service providers.
Binance’s new licence allows it to provide consumers in the Middle East’s smallest economy with crypto services including trading, custody, and portfolio management. Binance was granted in-principle permission to operate in Bahrain in December of last year. That permission has now been upgraded to a full licence.
HE Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), stated the bank was “creating laws matched with global trends” that would “allow innovation and best practises.”
Binance may now continue to expand across the globe while adhering to local legislation thanks to the licence. CZ said last week that he wants Binance to “discover and invest in” traditional firms in every economic sector around the world. With the goal of tying them to cryptocurrency.
Crypto friendly environment
Bahrain has long been one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the Middle East. Despite its small size compared to other countries in the area, or perhaps because of it. JP Morgan’s crypto payment system Onyx was successfully trialled by the CBB in January.
As previously reported, the CBB plans to use crypto-based payment systems to overcome “current inefficiencies in the traditional cross-border payments business,” according to governor Al Maraj.
Obtaining operating licences in each region will undoubtedly assist Binance in achieving its objectives. Forbes, a news media company, was the company’s most recent major acquisition. Which made for the princely sum of $200 million earlier this month.
The move by the CBB also places the country ahead of Dubai as the region’s crypto powerhouse. Bahrain’s financial crypto legislation are well ahead of those in Dubai. Which still prohibits crypto exchanges from providing services to its citizens.
“If banking was fixed, then Dubai could be the number one location for crypto,” Talal Tabbaa, CEO of Bahrain-based crypto exchange CoinMENA, said CNN in February, despite the central bank’s more sophisticated crypto laws.
The banking problem in Dubai could come to an end this year. Thanks to UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s creation of a legal framework for cryptocurrency in the city. The Prime Minister said the framework will protect investors. As well as create “much-needed international norms” for crypto industry regulation, according to reports.