- Binance is targeting the United Arab Emirates as a primary focus for its future operations, highlighting the nation’s pro-crypto stance and clear regulations.
- Binance Dubai General Manager, Alex Chehade, attributes this decision to the influx of a younger demographic in the UAE and their favourable mindset towards virtual assets.
Recognising the ever-growing global interest in digital assets, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has caught the keen attention of Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange. Amid a series of enforcement actions in the United States, Binance is looking to this Middle-Eastern nation as a prime focus for its future endeavours.
Alex Chehade, the General Manager of Binance Dubai, detailed to Cointelegraph the reasons behind this move. Chehade highlighted the UAE’s welcoming approach towards digital assets, coupled with its clear path for crypto businesses as contributing factors for this inclination.
According to Chehade, the UAE’s senior leadership has expressed intentions to position the region as a pivotal node for Web3, the term used to describe the decentralized internet ecosystem built on blockchain. This development is part of the region’s larger objective to diversify away from fossil fuels, with cryptocurrency being a potent driver for this change.
For exchanges such as Binance, grappling with legal challenges from U.S. regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the UAE’s straightforward crypto regulations are an attractive prospect.
“Binance is here [in the UAE] because we’ve been given the surety that we can set up operations and build for the future,”
expressed Chehade. He emphasised the need for stable regulations to allow businesses to plan, budget and operate without uncertainty.
Chehade points to the UAE’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) as a key stimulant for the increasing crypto interest in the region. VARA provides a clear framework for people and businesses to engage in the digital asset sphere, a level of clarity not commonly found in other regions.
Moreover, Chehade underscored the UAE’s shifting demographics as another catalyst for crypto adoption. The region has been attracting a younger, tech-savvy crowd from Europe and Asia, a demographic known to have a more favourable perspective towards virtual assets.
Echoing Chehade’s sentiments, Merkle Science CEO Mriganka Pattnaik also lauded the UAE’s regulatory landscape, underlining VARA’s role as the world’s first virtual asset-specific regulator. On February 7, VARA issued its Full Market Product Regulations, consisting of four mandatory rulebooks for virtual asset service providers in Dubai. Binance had already been granted a preparatory minimal viable product license from VARA in September 2021, affirming the exchange’s strategic pivot towards the UAE.