Binance re-enters India as Dubai grants licence: Reports

Binance re-enters India as Dubai grants licence: Reports
Regulation
Binance CEO Richard Teng was granted a licence for full operations in Dubai. Credit: Rita Fortunato/DL News.
  • Binance just earned a licence for full operations in Dubai.
  • The crypto exchange may also re-enter India’s market after it was banned in January.
  • It continues its search for a global headquarters location.

Embattled crypto behemoth Binance seemed to hit a winning streak this week.

After announcing a licence approval from Dubai’s virtual asset regulator, reports said that Binance may return to the Indian market after being banned earlier this year.

But Binance must first pay a fine of $2 million to get back into the Indian market, according to the Economic Times.

Binance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Indian government announced in December it would block Binance and eight other offshore crypto exchanges.

In March, India said that crypto exchanges needed to comply with anti-money laundering rules and register with the Financial Intelligence Unit that monitors suspicious activities.

The progress comes as Binance celebrates its licence in Dubai amid continued efforts to repair its tarnished image as an exchange set on evading local regulations.

The company is also seeking to set up a physical headquarters, after years of regulators raising a brow at the exchange’s unorthodox business.

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Dubai licence

Binance announced on Thursday that it was granted the licence from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, or VARA.

“That allows us to serve the full industry of customers, from institutions to high net-worth individuals to retail customers,” Binance CEO Richard Teng told Bloomberg.

One of his commitments, he said, is “working with global regulators to uphold global standards.”

The exchange has been operating under a provisional licence from VARA granted in August, which meant it was only able to serve institutional clients.

Teng has previously said that Binance’s base in Dubai serves as a local hub to service the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2022, Binance recruited for more than 100 positions in the United Arab Emirates and helped Dubai shape its virtual asset regulations, Reuters reported.

Binance however withdrew its application for a licence in Abu Dhabi in December.

Now, Teng is in the final stages of selecting the company’s official headquarters, with a list narrowed down to “a few jurisdictions” that have not been identified.

Teng has taken the reins from the former CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao, who faces sentencing on April 30 for violating US laws to prevent money laundering.

Inbar Preiss is a Brussels-based regulation correspondent. Contact her at inbar@dlnews.com.

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