RIYADH: Despite being home to the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, the UAE is not the crypto hub of the emerging regional Gulf region, according to CNN Business.
Binance is not licensed as an exchange in Dubai, nor are there any banking regulations for crypto.
However, it was recently approved to become a fully regulated, centralized crypto exchange in neighboring Bahrain.
Bahrain already has crypto banking regulation in place, making it an attractive home for crypto businesses, CNN reports, citing CoinMENA CEO Talal Tabbaa.
Unlike the United Arab Emirates, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) also accepts cryptocurrencies as an official payment method, which allows banks to partner with exchanges.
Referring to the UAE’s lack of banking regulations, Tabbaa said it was the “biggest obstacle,” adding that “if banking were regulated, then Dubai could be the number one destination for crypto.”
CoinMENA is not the only exchange licensed by the CBB.
Cryptocurrency platform Rain, which had over $1 billion in trading volume in H1 2021, is based in the country and licensed by the central bank.
“Responding to the growing demand for crypto assets, the Central Bank of Bahrain was one of the Middle East’s earliest adopters of crypto assets,” reported CNN, citing the bank’s governor Rasheed Al Maraj.
Separately, on February 24, 2022, Dubai’s Museum of the Future will host Binance founder Changpeng Zhao to discuss digital tokens and blockchain technology.