Crypto Platforms Gain EMEA Regulatory Approval
After years of operating a lucrative business model out of offshore tax havens with little to no regulatory oversight, 2022 was the year crypto trading platforms joined the mainstream of finance as countries around the world are trying to regulate space.
For larger players, this means applying for multiple licenses in various jurisdictions so they can operate above the edge and maintain their credibility.
In recent days, companies like Binance, Coinbase, and Coincorner have gained significant official approval to do business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
Exchanges prepare for EU legislation
Ahead of the upcoming EU Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA) legislation, the past few months have seen crypto trading platforms scrambling to obtain the necessary licenses to continue operating legally.
More recently, US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announcement that it has successfully registered with the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank – DNB) as a crypto service provider.
This listing will allow Coinbase to offer its full range of products and services to customers in the Netherlands. Under upcoming EU MiCA legislation, crypto firms licensed in one member state will be able to offer their services across the entire bloc.
Currently, Coinbase serves customers in nearly 40 European countries through dedicated hubs in Ireland, the UK, and Germany. In a press release announcing the new Dutch registration, the company said: “Additional registrations and license applications are pending in several major markets, in accordance with local regulations.”
Other crypto firms that have registered with the DNB include cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp and Ethereum staking DeFi platform BLOX.
Away from the Netherlands, Cyprus has proven to be a popular choice for companies looking to license across the EU, with a number of international companies registering with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. These include BitPanda, Crypto.com, CMC Markets and Revolut.
Read more: Before MiCA, Cyprus Becomes EU’s Preferred Crypto Licensing Base
Another platform awaiting EU regulatory approval is the Freetrade trading app. In a crowdfunding pitch that Financial News reported this week, the company said it intends to diversify into crypto as part of a push into the mainland European market and has already sought clearance from regulators.
Dubai continues to attract crypto companies
Six months after adopting its own crypto regulations, which created the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), Dubai’s position as a regional crypto hub continues to gain momentum.
Related: Dubai Virtual Assets Regulator Opens Sandbox-Based Metaverse Headquarters
Binance Global Cryptocurrency Exchange announcement last week that it received a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) license from VARA, following the issuance of its provisional license in March 2022.
The MVP license means Binance can offer an approved range of virtual asset-related services to retail and institutional investors in Dubai.
The transition to an MVP license from an interim license received earlier this year means that Binance can open a customer account with a national bank and provide services, including virtual asset exchange services, conversion between virtual assets and fiat currencies, virtual asset transfer, virtual asset custody and management, virtual token offering and trading services, and virtual asset payment and remittance services.
Over the past year, Binance has deepened its ties with the Emirate of Dubai. Like Reuters reported in March, the firm worked with lawmakers to help shape the VARA, which the firm’s regional head for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region called “a very progressive framework.” There was even speculation that she could even open a seat there.
Earlier this month, luxury hotel Palazzo Versace Dubai announced that it had partnered with Binance to allow customers to pay in cryptocurrency.
Read more: Luxury Palazzo Versace Dubai Resort Accepts Crypto Through Binance
Another company that has moved to Dubai in recent days is Scottish-based Cigrek Capital, which launched its solution for digital asset strategy managers in Dubai and the EU simultaneously this month.
Explaining the rationale behind the Dubai launch, the firm’s Founder and Managing Director, Laura Barscevska, said, “The new platform is designed to connect leading investment talent across the digital with wealthy Gulf investors who want greater exposure to this asset class.
“Our Dubai investment platform was created to address the real appetite for a locally regulated platform that will allow investors to allocate some of the best cryptocurrency management talent. We are already in talks with some pioneer fund managers in this space that we will bring to the Gulf market in due course. »
In other crypto news from Dubai, CoinCorner, a UK-based company that facilitates bitcoin-based commerce and payments, has partnered with Seed Group to offer its bitcoin transaction services across the Arab Emirates. States and the wider MENA region.
Seed Group is a company in the private office of Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed Al Maktoum of Dubai.
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