Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has reached another milestone in relationships with regulators in the United Arab Emirates by winning a new license in Dubai.
Binance’s Dubai-based subsidiary, Binance FZE, has obtained an operational minimum viable product (MVP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), the company announced on July 31.
The new license officially allows Binance to operate cryptocurrency exchange and virtual asset broker-dealer services.
The services enabled by the license are currently limited to institutional and qualified retail investors in Dubai, Binance noted. Eligible investors in Dubai can now access authorized services like crypto-to-fiat exchanges compliant with the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In order to become a user of Binance in Dubai, an investor should have a status of a “qualified retail client” in Dubai. Eligible users include people aged at least 21 and those being able to evidence 500,000 United Arab Emirates dirhams ($136,000) in net liquid assets, supported by documentary proof like bank statements and proof of funds.
Qualified investors should also provide valid identification documents like passports, visas, as well as proof of valid UAE address and contact details.
A spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph that the Dubai entity of Binance is now able to offer services like crypto-to-fiat exchange and conversions, transfer and custody, brokerage as well as virtual asset payments and remittance services.
Related: UAE emerges as a pro-Bitcoin mining destination in the Middle East
Binance’s latest regulatory milestone builds upon the progression from the provisional MVP license, issued by VARA in March 2022. Binance also obtained a preparatory MVP license in September 2022.
In April 2023, VARA also asked Binance to provide more information about its business requirements in an attempt to tighten regulatory requirements in the Dubai emirate. The exchange subsequently provided “all the requested information,” a spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph, adding:
“This is a common process between companies and regulators and we are looking forward to further cooperation with VARA as we prepare for the next phase of the licensing.”
Some crypto exchanges previously reported that the preparatory MVP license offers limited capabilities. The license only allows exchanges to service a “very restricted set of accredited investors,” Bybit CEO Ben Zhou told Cointelegraph in June.
The news comes soon after VAR suspended the operational license of crypto exchange BitOasis for not meeting mandated conditions within the timeframes set out by the authority. The firm subsequently said it was working with VARA on “fulfilling the remaining conditions.”
Asked about necessary compliance conditions with VARA, a spokesperson for Binance told Cointelegraph that the regulator’s framework includes compulsory rulebooks related to general operations, compliance, and market conduct requirements. Some of the key highlights on the regulations were published by VARA in 2023.
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