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- The Bahrain license is Binance’s first regulatory approval in the Middle East and North Africa region.
- Binance can now celebrate the new year with new operating licenses in two critical regions of the world.
Crypto Exchange Binance received a “license in principle” from the Central Bank of Bahrain to operate as a crypto asset service provider in the Kingdom of Bahrain. This is the first license for the Binance exchange in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In a statement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said approval from national regulators is «essential to building trust in crypto and blockchain and further enhancing mass adoption.»
As for licensing, «it’s a matter of formalities,» said Abdulkarim Haji, director of licensing at the country’s central bank. He pointed out that Bahrain is the ideal location for Binance’s headquarters in the region.
In addition, Binance acquired a license in Canada, where it was established as the ‘Binance Canada Capital Market’. The new subsidiary of the digital assets exchange, currency transfers and currency transactions will manage and act as a financial services provider.
Changpeng Zhao confirmed the license on Twitter. He said the company is looking forward to expanding its customer support team to include clients and other crypto exchanges.
Bahrain and a little #crypto company.https: //t.co/QEZqzIXIVz
– CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 28, 2021
On Friday, the crypto exchange FINTRAC applied for an MSB license and received approval Monday. The current financial license of the exchange expires on December 31, 2024.
Bahrain, the smallest economy in the Gulf region, is a pioneer in the cryptocurrency industry in that country. Rain Financial became the first licensed crypto-asset platform in the region after obtaining permission from the country’s central bank to operate in 2019. In January, Bahrain’s Monetary Authority renewed the license for Manama-based CoinMENA.
Binance ‘s decision reflects the company’ s growing focus on the Middle East. The company was recently the first cryptocurrency exchange to enter the new cryptocurrency hub of the Dubai World Trade Center Authority.
The year 2021 was a turbulent year for Binance, as the company continued to expand into new countries and, on the one hand, closed existing platforms due to notable violations of national law. Penalties included warnings from a criminal prosecution for failure to comply with financial supervisory reporting requirements.
The most recent of these cases occurred in Turkey, but the allegations are quite similar to shortcomings found by regulators in the UK, US, South Africa and other states. Turkish rulers accuse the exchange of failing to comply with all anti-money laundering regulations. They require financial companies in Turkey to collect and verify their clients’ identities. They also require companies to report suspicious customer activity within 10 days.
Binance prominently violates relevant national laws
This is not the first time Binance has been accused of failing to cooperate with national authorities to prevent money laundering. The allegations go back to 2018, when Zaif’s Japanese exchange, now Fisco, was hacked and lost $ 60 million. Zaif subsequently filed a lawsuit against Binance alleging he facilitated the laundering of stolen funds in 2018. Binance’s very shallow KYC practices allowed hackers to easily shell out their new millions of dollars.
Recently, UK banks cut ties with Binance because they did not meet money laundering and KYC requirements. TSB bank banned them from sending money to Binance, which has about five million customers because the lax requirements of AML and KYC allowed the exchange for various scammers to create wallets and then use them to scam unsuspecting customers.
Late this year, a South African bank began banning its customers from buying digital currencies on Binance. According to local reports, the bank banned Binance for the same reason: lack of compliance with AML and KYC regulations in South Africa.