Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is hiring over 100 people in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and also helping to develop Dubai’s new virtual asset legislation, according to its regional head.
UAE Comes Under FATF Scrutiny
Binance’s ties with the Gulf state have become stronger in recent months as the UAE attempts to establish itself as the world’s new digital asset centre and creates a regulatory framework.
“It’s a very advanced framework, and we’re very glad to be a part of it, working closely with the Dubai government,” Binance’s MENA head, Richard Teng, said. “I wish more regulators around the world took Dubai’s approach, which is a public-private cooperation.”
The UAE’s crypto drive comes as international authorities express a lot of concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and other criminal activities.
Financial crime watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force has placed the UAE on a ‘grey list’ of nations that would be closely monitored in the coming months (FATF).
Binance has been scrutinized by governments and financial watchdogs since its inception in 2017, as they analyze the larger cryptocurrency business, which has grown in a mostly uncontrolled environment.
“Binance adheres to worldwide norms in terms of anti-money laundering, global sanctions and KYC (Know Your Customer),” Mr. Teng added. After being approved by Dubai’s new virtual assets regulator this month, the business is presently hiring more than 100 UAE employees, according to Teng and LinkedIn postings.
Is Binance Moving To Dubai?
Changpeng Zhao, the company’s CEO, is a frequent traveller to the UAE and has stated that he has purchased a property in the UAE’s business capital last year. Additionally, the business is assisting Dubai’s financial free zone in the development of a virtual asset ecosystem.
Teng, on the other hand, refused to clarify whether Dubai will be his new headquarters. Binance claims to have no headquarters and refuses to explain who controls its primary exchange, despite Mr. Zhao’s stated desire to develop a number of regional centres.
“Definitely Dubai is a very significant hub that we are looking at to examine multiple choices going ahead,” he said adding that “internal talks” over where Binance will be based were still ongoing.
Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates and the region’s trading powerhouse, passed its first digital assets law in March and established the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).
It just licensed Binance and FTX Europe, two global heavyweights, and firms like crypto.com are establishing headquarters in the GCC country.
Teng was tasked with the MENA assignment in December, following a brief stay in Singapore, where Binance withdrew its bid to be registered under a new regulatory system late last year.
Previously, authorities had warned Binance that it could be breaking local rules and it should stop providing payment services to Singaporeans.