Binance upgrades Abu Dhabi license to offer crypto custody

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance has upgraded the in-principle approval it obtained from the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (the FSRA) back in April. The world’s largest crypto ecosystem today received a Financial Services Permission (FSP) at the international financial centre of the UAE’s capital.

The FSP approval will enable Binance to provide custody to professional clients, provided they meet the conditions outlined by FSRA. As such, the milestone helps broaden the perspectives and business appraisal of the brand as it seeks to cash in on the region’s interest in cryptocurrencies.

Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM said: “We congratulate Binance on securing the FSPs to offer their products and services in the MENA region. Our robust and transparent virtual asset regulatory framework is the backbone of ADGM’s strategy towards fostering a trusted and well-regulated environment. We look forward to supporting Binance’s operations and R&D in ADGM to develop solutions for the Web3.0 economy.”

Dominic Longman, Senior Executive Officer of Binance (AD), noted: “Obtaining this license is a pivotal step in the growth of Binance in Abu Dhabi, and a reflection of the city’s progressive stance on virtual assets. We are excited to continue to strengthen our symbiotic relationship with ADGM and the city of Abu Dhabi and look forward to providing institutional investors with a secure and reliable platform for their virtual asset activities. This is just the beginning for Binance Abu Dhabi and we hope that, as our team grows and develops, so too will the local blockchain landscape.”

Before that, Binance was granted an “in-principle” decision, which was the first stage of the full authorization process whereby the applicant needs to satisfy ADGM on one or more requirements. The initial licence allowed the crypto giant to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets.

As 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.

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 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.

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