Dubai’s VARA Grants MVP Licence to Binance

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Dubai’s VARA Grants MVP Licence to Binance

Binance, the global crypto company that operates the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trading volume, on Monday secured an Operational Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to operate virtual asset exchange services.

“We are pleased to announce that our Dubai subsidiary, Binance FZE, has become the first exchange to receive the Operational MVP license from VARA. The license enables Binance to offer services in Dubai approved by VARA, including exchange and broker-dealer services — initially to institutional and qualified retail investors,” the company said in a release.

The issuance of the operational MVP license follows Binance’s successful attainment of a provisional MVP license in March 2022 and a preparatory MVP license in September 2022.

Subsequently, VARA has now permitted Binance to operate two licensed activities: virtual asset exchange services and virtual asset broker-dealer services, limited to institutional and qualified retail investors in Dubai.

“This development underscores our dedication to building a compliant exchange in partnership with local regulators and within Dubai’s unique regulatory framework for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs),” the release said.

Secure and Regulated Services

The progression from the Provisional License to an Operational MVP License, means eligible users in Dubai will now be able to access authorized services, including the ability to safely convert virtual assets to fiat under VARA-designated standards compliant with the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Institutions and residents that qualify to use the services provided by the Operational MVP License in Dubai can do so knowing they are under investor protection and market assurance standards tailored specifically for the virtual asset sector and required by VARA for any licensees to provide regulated virtual asset services in Dubai.

Richard Teng, Head of Regional Markets at Binance, said that they were the first exchange to be granted an MVP License, which was a result of over a year of due diligence, collaboration, and consistent demonstration of responsible intent – that now allows us to be able to leverage the potential of a progressive regulatory framework, enabling innovation while furthering user protection.

“Operating within this regulated ecosystem, we are committed to ensuring secure and seamless customer migration, with robust Know-Your-Customer and Customer-Due-Diligence as part of the rigorous onboarding remediation as stipulated by VARA. Our priority is to be able to operate this first fully regulated exchange in, and from Dubai, in a FATF-compliant ecosystem, setting the stage for global scalability with uncompromised user assurance,” Teng added.

Looking Ahead

The UAE’s embrace of blockchain technology has created a thriving industry with security and innovation as complementary assets at its core and Binance believes its vision for this space will set precedents for the global industry.

“We are proud to be part of VARA’s virtual asset ecosystem and to be leading the way within its regulatory framework. We look forward to growing even more Web3 opportunities in line with the Dubai government’s regulatory regime and guidance,” the company said.

Alexander Chehade, Binance Dubai’s General Manager, said that the last few years have cemented Dubai as a global virtual asset hub and they were excited to be a witness to that growth as we build on our operations here, with continued commitment to market and investor security.

“With this operational MVP license, all users onboarded through this platform can expect access to a trusted and regulated service that prioritizes security alongside compliance with highly specialised, tier-one virtual asset regulations under VARA. This milestone achievement is one step closer to providing even more users with access to our services and we are excited about the continued work in this space,” Chehade added.

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