Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume — 1.4 million transactions per second — received approval from Bahrain to become a crypto-asset service provider.
Binance keen on compliance
Following Binance’s successful business as a cryptocurrency exchange, it has invited scrutiny from regulators across the world, including Germany, Britain, Malaysia, and Japan.
The cryptocurrency sector is highly linked to dangerous crimes such as money laundering and terrorism. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Central Bank said the crypto exchange was not in compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act.
Headed by billionaire Changpeng Zhao, famously referred to as CZ, the exchange has previously been banned from all activities while other regulators have warned its target customers as unlicensed to do business.
The platform offers a variety of services to users worldwide, from direct trading between users to issuing its own Binance coin ( BNB). The coin is the world’s third-biggest cryptocurrency, and there is nearly $70 billion worth of it in circulation.
However, keen to change the narrative and obtain legitimacy for its operations, billionaire CZ is impressed by Bahrain’s move.
“The Central Bank of Bahrain has demonstrated leadership and forethought in addressing crypto as a future asset class. The approval recognizes Binance’s commitment to comply fully with regulatory requirements and our broader commitment to anchor operations and activities in Bahrain,” said Changpeng.
Bahrain seeks to cement its crypto industry
Bahrain’s central bank issued Binance an in-principal approval to embark with its crypto-asset services. The company, however, is not through with the application for a license. Once done, Bahrain will become the first Middle Eastern-North African (MENA) country to approve a Binance entity.
This latest development is Binance’s effort to become a “fully regulated centralized” crypto exchange. As countries adopt bitcoin, ethereum, and altcoins, the MENA region is also rising to the occasion.
MENA countries are reportedly an ideal place for cryptocurrencies to thrive as 80% of the population remains unbanked. Most unbanked people are likely to use bitcoin for instant and economical transfer of funds. There are a couple of businesses in the Middle East that accept bitcoin as payment.
Recently, CoinMENA, a Sharia-compliant crypto exchange, signed an MoU with Dubai World Trade Centre Free Zone to develop a crypto asset and blockchain hub in Dubai. Known to seize opportunities, Binance reportedly has had discussions with regulators to set up its headquarters in Dubai.