Binance receives third licence in Middle East, awarded IPA from Abu Dhabi

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance has received its in-principle approval (IPA) from the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (the FSRA).

The licence allows the crypto giant to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets. The “in-principle” decision is also the first stage of the full authorization process whereby the applicant needs to satisfy ADGM on more requirements in order to obtain a license.

Once Binance has satisfied all IPA conditions and receives its Financial Services Permission (FSP), it will be able to offer its services to customers outside the GCC region, as well as the currently-serviced GCC region. In addition to servicing a broader range of customers, the FSP from the ADGM FSRA will enable Binance to list a greater number of virtual asset pairs provided they meet the Accepted Virtual Assets criteria set out by the FSRA.

Abu Dhabi has one of the most sophisticated regulatory frameworks for digital assets providing clarity for entrepreneurs and their customers. In terms of the fintech landscape in the Middle East, the UAE in particular is already showing strong signs of support for fintech, as well as some early success stories.

“The IPA is part of Binance’s plans in establishing itself as a fully-regulated virtual asset service provider in an internationally recognized and well-regulated financial center,” ADGM stated.

Binance upgrades regulatory profile

While continuing to focus on regional expansion, Binance’s pursuit of an IPA (and eventual FSP) is its third approval in the Middle Eastern region after Bahrain and Dubai, the second biggest city in the UAE after Abu Dhabi. The largest crypto exchange by trading volume is reportedly recruiting over 100 positions in the UAE after being licensed by Dubai’s new virtual assets regulator in March.

The new approval also comes as Binance is trying to upgrade its regulatory profile worldwide, part of an attempt to undo regulatory red flags and reinvent itself as a regulated financial firm.

Binance has seen plenty of news headlines in recent times as regulatory focus returns to the crypto space. Its American affiliate has also obtained its third Money Transmitter licenses in the US. Following the receipt of approvals in West Virginia and Connecticut, the FinCEN-registered company received formal notice from the Wyoming Division of Banking that its application was accepted.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also said he expects the world’s largest cryptocurrency hub to become a London-registered crypto asset firm in six to 18 months.

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