Binance secures first operational license in Dubai amid regulatory hurdles in Europe.

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2 min readAug 3, 2023

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Following multiple setbacks with European regulators, Binance has become the first digital asset exchange to receive an Operational Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA).

The news comes as the exchange faces regulatory challenges in several European territories, including Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

The Operational MVP license, issued to the Dubai subsidiary, Binance FZE, allows the company to offer regulated virtual asset exchange services under VARA’s investor protection and market assurance standards.

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Richard Teng, Head of Regional Markets at Binance, acknowledged the importance of this development, stating,

“We are honored to be the first exchange to be granted an operational Minimum Viable Product License by VARA — a result of over a year of due diligence, collaboration, and consistent demonstration of responsible intent.”

Furthermore, Teng assured that Binance is committed to providing secure and seamless customer migration within this regulated ecosystem, emphasizing robust “Know-Your-Customer” (KYC) and “Customer-Due-Diligence” as part of the rigorous onboarding remediation stipulated by VARA.

According to the announcement, Binance recognizes the UAE embracing blockchain technology and perceives Dubai as a “thriving” global hub for virtual assets, where security and innovation function as complementary forces.

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Binance anticipates further growth in Web3 opportunities aligned with the Dubai government’s regulatory guidance. Alexander Chehade, Binance Dubai’s General Manager, confirmed the company’s excitement to witness and contribute to the growth of this hub.

He affirmed that with the recently secured operational MVP license, users could expect access “to a trusted and regulated service that prioritizes security alongside compliance.”

Binance regulatory issues in Europe.

However, the situation in Europe presents a contrasting scenario. Binance’s application for a crypto custody license in Germany was withdrawn in July 2023 due to significant changes in the global market and regulation. The exchange plans to reapply, but no specific timeline has been provided.

This withdrawal marks another setback in the exchange’s efforts to establish a foothold in Europe. Binance was snubbed from similar VASP licenses, including the Netherlands. Binance exited markets in the country, along with Austria, Cyprus, and the U.K., citing failure to secure the necessary regulatory approval.

The exchange emphasized its focus on complying with the forthcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations to continue offering its services in Europe.

Undoubtedly, Binance’s contrasting experiences in Dubai and Europe reflect the complex path crypto exchanges are currently treading in their pursuit of regulatory compliance.

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