Binance is turning its attention to the United Arab Emirates as it seeks a new focal point for its operations. The move comes in response to a series of regulatory actions against Binance in the United States. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Alex Chehade, the General Manager of Binance Dubai, highlighted the UAE’s favorable stance towards digital assets and its determination to establish itself as a leader in the Web3 space.
The UAE’s Vision and Stability
Chehade explained that the senior leadership of the UAE aims to position the region as a hub for Web3 technologies. With a desire to diversify away from fossil fuels, the UAE sees cryptocurrencies as a powerful catalyst for this transition.
Moreover, the country’s clear regulatory environment is a major drawcard for Binance, which currently faces legal challenges from US regulators such as the SEC and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
According to Chehade, Binance’s decision to establish a presence in the UAE stems from the assurance received that the company can operate and grow in a predictable environment.
In his words,“You don’t want to set up where the goalposts move. For big businesses, you need predictability, you need to plan and you need to budget.”
Further, the UAE’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) plays a crucial role in providing a clear framework for engagement with cryptocurrencies, a feature lacking in many other jurisdictions.
Also, Chehade credited VARA as a driving force behind the growing interest in cryptocurrencies in the UAE. VARA, as the world’s first virtual asset-specific regulator, has established comprehensive compliance guidelines for firms operating within its jurisdiction. The regulatory landscape in the UAE stands out due to its emphasis on interaction between the private sector and regulators.
With a smaller, early-stage ecosystem, it becomes easier for businesses to collaborate and build teams. This is irrespective of whether team members are originally from the region.
Additionally, the influx of young expatriates from Europe and Asia has the potential to accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the UAE. Chehade further highlighted the younger demographic in the region.
He stated,“Younger people have a more favorable mindset when it comes to virtual assets.”
Notably, this demographic advantage sets the UAE apart from other established crypto hubs around the world.
Praise for UAE’s Regulatory Landscape and VARA’s Recent Regulations
In the same vein, Merkle Science CEO, Mriganka Pattnaik echoed Chehade’s sentiments, praising the regulatory landscape in the UAE. He noted that VARA’s detailed compliance guidelines provide clarity and confidence for firms operating under its purview.
Pattnaik further emphasized that the UAE’s smaller, early-stage ecosystem facilitates closer collaboration between the private sector and regulators. This will, as a result, contribute to an efficient and supportive business environment.
Also, on February 7, VARA released its Full Market Product Regulations. This encompasses four rulebooks that establish mandatory guidelines for virtual asset service providers in Dubai. Prior to this, Binance received a preparatory minimal viable product license from VARA in September 2021, further solidifying its position in the UAE’s thriving crypto ecosystem.