Two cryptocurrency exchanges are making their presence felt in the Mideast.
FTX said it received a virtual-asset license in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Complex Crypto-Derivatives Products
FTX Europe, a recently-established division operating in Europe and the Middle East, is among the anchors in the Dubai World Trade Centre, an economic free zone.
The firm will offer “complex crypto-derivatives products with centralized counterparty clearing to institutional markets,” CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, also got a crypto license in Dubai under the same program, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
In addition, Binance received a license to be crypto service provider in Bahrain, Chief Executive Officer Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted.
The pair of licenses marked the exchange’s first regulatory approvals in the Middle East region.
“#Binance has been granted the first license for a global crypto-asset provider in The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) by the Central Bank of Bahrain,” he said.
The regulatory requirements will “protect users with strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies,” Zhao said.
‘The Future Belongs to Whoever Designs It’
The UAE is the third-largest crypto market in the region, trailing Turkey and Lebanon, according to data compiled by Chainalysis as of June 2021.
Dubai announced the creation of a regulatory and licensing authority last week.
“The future belongs to whoever designs it,” tweeted Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “Today, through the virtual assets law, we seek to participate in the design of this new and rapidly growing global sector.. Our step is a leap towards the future aimed at developing this sector and protecting all investors in it.”
Last month, Binance made a $200 million strategic investment in news publisher Forbes.
Binance was founded in China in 2017 but banished from the country during its crypto crackdown.
Financial regulators across the world have targeted Binance, with some banning the platform from certain activities and others warning consumers that it was unlicensed to operate in their jurisdictions, Reuters reported.