Binance is celebrating the new year with approvals from two different corners of the world.
The Cryptocurrency Exchange has received a master license from the Central Bank of Bahrain to operate as a crypto asset service provider in the Kingdom of Bahrain. According to the announcement, the initial approval is the first for the Binance division in the MENA region.
Binance CEO Changpend Zhao, or “CZ,” said in a statement that approval from national regulators is “essential to build confidence in cryptocurrencies and blockchain and improve their mainstream adoption.”
When it comes to licensing, it’s “a matter of formality,” according to Abdel Karim Haj, director of licensing at the country’s central bank. He called Bahrain an ideal place to open a Binance headquarters in the region.
Surprisingly, Binance has also received a cryptocurrency finance license in Canada, which was established as Binance Canada Capital Market. The new Oslo Børs subsidiary will handle digital assets, money and foreign exchange transfers, and operate in the financial services industry (MSB).
CZ confirmed the license on Twitter. He said the company is excited to expand its customer support team to other cryptocurrency clients.
Cryptocurrency exchange Fintrac applied for an MSB license on Friday and was approved on Monday. The exchange’s current financial license expires on December 31, 2024.
Bahrain, the smallest economy in the Gulf, has been a pioneer in the digital asset sector. Rain Financial became the first licensed cryptocurrency asset platform in the region after receiving permission from the country’s central bank to operate in 2019. In January, the Bahraini Monetary Authority extended the license of CoinMENA in Manama.
Binance’s decision reflects the company’s growing focus on the Middle East. According to Cointelegraph, the company recently became the first cryptocurrency exchange to join a new cryptocurrency hub set up by the Dubai World Trade Center Authority.
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The Binance regulatory saga has been exciting in 2021 as the cryptocurrency exchange continues to expand into new countries and receive appropriate regulatory approval. At the same time, it was met with criticism, warnings and heavy fines from several authorities.
Recently, Binance Turkey was fined $750,000 by the Financial Crime Investigation Board for failing to comply with Financial Supervision reporting requirements.