Binance ramps up hiring and activity in Dubai crypto hub

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(Corrects paragraph 9 to clarify that Binance has a partnership with DWTC, not the financial free zone DIFC.)

By Lisa Barrington and Riham Alkousaa

DUBAI (Reuters) – Binance, the largest crypto exchange by trading volume, is recruiting more than 100 positions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and helping to shape Dubai’s new virtual asset regulations, its regional head said. .

Binance’s ties with the Gulf state have deepened in recent months as the UAE tries to portray itself as the new global center for digital assets and develops regulations.

“It is a very progressive framework and we are very happy to be part of this process, working closely with the Government of Dubai,” said Richard Teng, MENA Head of Binance. “I wish more regulators around the world would take this Dubai approach – a public-private partnership.”

The UAE’s crypto push comes as international authorities raise growing concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and other crimes.

In March, the United Arab Emirates was placed on a “grey list” of jurisdictions under increased scrutiny by the financial crime watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Binance, since its inception in 2017, has come under intense scrutiny from governments and financial watchdogs assessing the entire cryptocurrency industry which had thrived in a largely unreliable environment. regulated.

“Binance meets global anti-money laundering standards, in terms of global sanctions, in terms of KYC (Know Your Customer),” Teng said.

The company is currently recruiting for over 100 positions in the United Arab Emirates, Teng and vacancies said on LinkedIn, after being approved by Dubai’s new virtual assets regulator this month.

CEO Changpeng Zhao is a regular visitor to the UAE and said he bought a house last year. The company in December signed a partnership with the Dubai World Trade Center Authority to help it set up and regulate an international ecosystem of virtual assets.

But Teng wouldn’t say whether Dubai should be a headquarters.

Binance says it has no headquarters and does not identify which entity controls its main exchange, although Zhao said it wants to establish a number of regional hubs.

“Certainly Dubai is a very important hub that we are looking at to consider different options in the future,” he said, adding that “internal deliberations” were continuing on Binance’s base location. .

Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and the region’s trade hub, published its first digital asset law in March and formed the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA).

It recently licensed Binance and other global heavyweights FTX Europe and companies such as crypto.com are setting up offices.

Teng took on the role of MENA in December, moving from a short stint in Singapore where Binance late last year withdrew its application for clearance under a new regulatory regime.

Authorities previously warned that Binance may violate local laws and should stop providing payment services to Singapore residents.

(Written by Lisa BarringtonEdited by MarkPotter)

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