One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, announced on Tuesday that it has obtained its first license to operate in the Gulf, in Bahrain.
The company, created in China but since banned by Beijing, will provide crypto-asset exchange and management services in the kingdom under the supervision of the Central Bank of Bahrain.
Binance Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao, quoted in the statement, praised the regulatory framework put in place by the authorities of Bahrain, and the “ demanding criteria imposed ” by its central bank in the fight against money laundering, while most regulators around the world are wary of cryptocurrencies.
A future regional hub for cryptos?
Last June, Binance, had its authorizations to sell options or futures contracts in the United Kingdom withdrawn by the British market policeman.
Bahrain hopes to become a regional hub for crypto-asset companies, a title it is however competing with Dubai.
Its rich neighbor in the United Arab Emirates also announced earlier this month the adoption of a law on virtual assets, and the creation of a regulatory authority for crypto assets. According to the Bloomberg agency, which cites an informed source, the emirate would also have granted a license to Binance.
Another major cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, also announced on Tuesday the launch of its operations and the opening of a regional headquarters in Dubai.