If Bahrain’s application is approved, it will be Binance’s first regulatory approval in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Binance is celebrating the new year with approvals from two different sides of the world.
The Central Bank of Bahrain has granted a license in principle for the exchange of cryptocurrencies to operate as a cryptographic asset service provider in the Kingdom of Bahrain. According to the notice, the approval in principle is the first for a Binance organization in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In a statement, Binance CZ’s CEO said that approval from national regulators is “essential to building trust in cryptocurrencies and blockchain and helping to further increase mass adoption.”
When it comes to licensing, it’s “a matter of formalities,” according to Abdulkarim Haji, head of licensing at the country’s central bank. He singled out Bahrain as the ideal place for Binance to establish its headquarters in the region.
In a surprise move, Binance also obtained a cryptography financing license in Canada, incorporated as Binance Canada Capital Market. The exchange’s new subsidiary will manage digital assets, money transfers, currency exchange and will function as a currency services company (MSB).
CZ confirmed the license on Twitter. He said he is excited to expand his customer support team to include clients and other encryption exchanges.
St. Stephen's Day. https://t.co/XmnyQIODLT - CZ Binance (@cz_binance) December 27, 2021
On December 24th, the encryption switch asked FINTRAC for an MSB license, approved on December 27th. The exchange’s current financial license will expire on December 31, 2024.
Bahrain, the Gulf’s smallest economy, was a pioneer in the digital asset sector. Rain Financial became the first licensed crypto-asset platform in the region after receiving permission from the country’s central bank to operate in 2019. In January, Bahrain’s monetary authority renewed a license for CoinMENA, based in Manama.
Binance’s decision reflects the company’s greater focus on the Middle East region. The company recently became the first encryption exchange to join a new encryption center established by the Dubai World Trade Center Authority, Cointelegraph reported.
Binance’s regulatory odyssey was nothing short of exciting in 2021, as the cryptocurrency exchange continues to expand into new countries and gain adequate regulatory approval. At the same time, it has faced serious criticism, warnings and fines from various authorities.
More recently, the Financial Crimes Investigation Council (MASAK) fined Binance Turkey $750,000 for failing to comply with financial supervision reporting requirements.