Digital Assets: Binance Obtains an Operational Minimum Viable Product License in Dubai

Binance, which is being sued by US regulators for a wide range of issues, is pleased to announce that their Dubai subsidiary, Binance FZE, has reportedly become the first exchange “to receive the Operational Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).”

The Operational MVP license enables Binance “to offer services in Dubai approved by VARA, including exchange and broker-dealer services — initially to institutional and qualified retail investors.”

The issuance of the operational MVP license follows Binance’s successful “attainment of a provisional MVP license in March 2022 and a preparatory MVP license in September 2022.”

Having done so, VARA has now permitted Binance “to operate two licensed activities: virtual asset exchange services and virtual asset broker-dealer services, limited to institutional and qualified retail investors in Dubai.”

This development underscores their dedication “to building a compliant exchange in partnership with local regulators and within Dubai’s unique regulatory framework for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).”

The progression from the Provisional License, granted in 2022, to an Operational MVP License, “means eligible users in Dubai will now be able to access authorized services, including the ability to safely convert virtual assets to fiat under VARA-designated standards compliant with the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force.”

Institutions and residents that qualify “to use the services provided by the Operational MVP License in Dubai can do so knowing they’re under investor protection and market assurance standards tailored specifically for the virtual asset sector, and required by VARA for any licensees to provide regulated virtual asset services in Dubai.”

Richard Teng, Head of Regional Markets at Binance, commented:

“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 – that now allows us to be able to leverage the potential of a progressive regulatory framework, enabling innovation while furthering user protection. Operating within this regulated ecosystem, we are committed to ensuring secure and seamless customer migration, with robust Know-Your-Customer and Customer-Due-Diligence as part of the rigorous onboarding remediation as stipulated by VARA. Our priority is to be able to operate this first fully regulated exchange in, and from Dubai, in a FATF-compliant ecosystem, setting the stage for global scalability with uncompromised user assurance.”

The UAE’s embrace of blockchain technology has “created a thriving industry with security and innovation as complementary assets at its core.”

Binance believes its vision for this space “will set precedents for the global industry.”

The firm says it is proud to be “part of VARA’s virtual asset ecosystem and to be leading the way within its regulatory framework.” They look forward to “growing even more Web3 opportunities in line with the Dubai government’s regulatory regime and guidance.”

Alexander Chehade, Binance Dubai’s General Manager, noted:

“The last few years have cemented Dubai as a global virtual asset hub and we are excited to be a witness to that growth as we build on our operations here, with continued commitment to market and investor security. With this operational MVP license, all users onboarded through this platform can expect access to a trusted and regulated service that prioritizes security alongside compliance with highly specialized, tier-one virtual asset regulations under VARA. This milestone achievement is one step closer to providing even more users with access to our services and we are excited about the continued work in this space.”

As noted in a blog post, Binance’s regulatory journey in Dubai “marks an epoch in the evolution of virtual asset services, not just within the UAE, but globally. VARA’s issuance of the Operational MVP License to Binance embodies a significant step towards a future of regulated, secure, and customer-centric virtual asset services.”

Binance’s achievement in securing this latest license is considered by the firm to be “a testament to its dedication to work hand-in-hand with regulators, setting a precedent for positive collaboration in this rapidly-evolving financial technology landscape.”

As they venture further into this space, it’s exciting “to anticipate the increased security, innovation, and scalability that this landmark development promises for institutions, retail investors, and the global virtual asset community.”

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