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Cryptocurrency trading platform Binance will now be able to expand its services to Dubai as the emirate continues to step up its efforts to attract businesses working with digital cash.

The body that regulates companies providing digital asset services in Dubai – the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority – has granted Binance a new license that will allow it to offer its services to retail and institutional investors, the agency reported on Tuesday. of state press WAM.

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The license comes in part thanks to a new regulation put in place in March this year by the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who created the regulatory body, with the “established legal framework to protect investors and promote growth in the virtual asset industry,” WAM reported at the time.

In March, Dubai granted a virtual asset license to Binance, allowing it “to expand limited exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers,” the company said in a statement. a press release at the time.

The new license now allows the company – which buys, trades and holds more than 350 digital currencies, according to its website – “to open a customer account with a national bank and benefit from new services”, according to WAM. .

According to a recent report by accounting giant PwC, the UAE’s share of the global crypto market increased by 500% between July 2020 and June 2021, and there are believed to be over 400 crypto companies in the country.

The crypto hub of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, does not actually accept cryptocurrency payments for goods, which means that if a buyer wants to buy something using digital cash, they have to go to a so-called exchange house that converts it into Fiat currency – like UAE dirhams. , or in US dollars. Crypto exchanges in the UAE also include e-Toro, Coinbase, and OKX.

But despite this, a sign that the country’s efforts to attract crypto-based businesses are working, companies involved in crypto payments are still moving to the UAE to set up shop.

“We have heard of companies [and] we have heard of business people traveling and moving to the UAE because of these favorable regulations,” said Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis – a platform that provides blockchain data – the technology used to process and record crypto payments, Al Arabiya English told in a previous interview.

In March this year, and Bybit announced plans to open offices in Dubai. moved its regional headquarters to Dubai while Bybit moved its global headquarters to the emirate.

“Positioning itself as a global digital hub, authorities have been making efforts to transform its economy, adopting the latest fintech innovations while creating the necessary regulatory frameworks,” the company said in a blog post at the time.

Binance cryptocurrency exchange will be licensed to provide services to retail investors.

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