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Binance's Middle East expansion has been approved by Abu Dhabi, and the CEO promises there will be more to come

Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, has received provisional approval from Abu Dhabi regulators, allowing it to expand further in the Middle East.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market gave the company "in principle" license to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets on Sunday. The action, according to the company, is the first step toward becoming a "fully regulated virtual asset service provider" in the city.

Binance has now won approval from a second city, after receiving a crypto license in Dubai last month. The decision also comes after Bahrain's national bank granted Binance permission to operate.

After receiving a cold reaction elsewhere, Binance has been pushing into the Middle East market.

Regulators in the United Kingdom imposed restrictions on the company, prohibiting it from engaging in any regulated activity. It limited its service in Singapore after the country's central bank warned it might be breaking local payment regulations.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao responded to a tweet from CNBC by saying the company is "not shunned elsewhere" and that there's "more to come."

Binance was previously known for its proclivity to operate outside of local restrictions. Until recently, the company's CEO took pride in the fact that it had no recognized headquarters. In response to criticism from worldwide regulators, Binance has shifted course and stated that it wishes to become a regulated company. The company is now deciding where to open its main office.

Several crypto businesses, like and FTX, are considering setting up shop in Gulf states like the UAE. However, the UAE is opening its doors to the poorly regulated world of cryptocurrency at an inconvenient time: the Financial Action Task Force just placed the UAE on a "gray list," a worldwide money laundering monitor.


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