The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has had a turbulent year when it comes to regulation. With market authorities around the world cracking down on Binance for its alleged breach of local AML laws, the exchange has been looking for a new headquarters.
Its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ in the crypto sphere, has yet to announce where the exchange will take root. However, sources close to the matter recently revealed to Bloomberg that the crypto pioneer, worth $ 96 billion, is considering the UAE as the next hub for Binance.
CZ is establishing itself in the UAE and Binance might as well
Despite being the largest exchange in the cryptocurrency industry and one of the most valuable companies in the world, Binance does not have a formal home. Founded in China in 2017, the company was forced to transfer its business to Japan after Chinese authorities banned cryptocurrency trading in the country. After a brief stint in crypto-hostile Japan, Binance went into self-exile to Malta, where the government’s pro-crypto stance promised more freedom for the booming exchange.
Following the controversy with the Maltese financial regulator, which claimed it did not oversee the exchange, Binance was, once again, homeless. The only appearance of headquarters was its presence in Singapore, where the company had a significant number of employees.
However, even its presence in Singapore is being tested by local regulators: Binance withdrew its license application last month due to failure to comply with Singapore’s anti-money laundering regulations.
While it is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, neither Binance nor CZ have shown interest in establishing a suitable headquarters in the Caribbean.
So where does a company with an estimated value of $ 300 billion go?
According to sources familiar with the matter, Binance is considering the UAE as its next global hub.
In recent months, CZ has become a fixture in the United Arab Emirates. He reportedly bought a sprawling apartment in Dubai and has been hosting dinners for the city’s most influential.
Most of his time in the UAE appears to have been spent in Abu Dhabi, where he was seen meeting the royal family. These meetings were only for business and not pleasure, sources told Bloomberg, as the royal family is eager to bring Binance to the country.
These rumors are in line with Binance’s latest effort to work with regulators in the UAE.
Last month, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Dubai World Trade Center Authority (DWCTA) to “outline the vision of accelerating the creation of a new industrial center for global virtual assets ”.
– CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) December 21, 2021
The deal came just a day after DWCTA revealed plans to become a cryptocurrency and virtual asset regulator. The organization said it wants to create an “attractive environment” for the crypto industry by working together with private companies and other relevant entities, with Binance being the most relevant.
After being reprimanded by the Canadian securities regulator last month, the exchange doubled down on its commitment to working with regulators. A Binance spokesperson said the company was working with regulators “all over the world” and was taking its compliance obligations very seriously.
The CZ himself has said that he welcomes and wants regulation, especially in the crypto sphere.
“I’m not an anarchist,” he told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore. “I don’t think human civilization is advanced enough to live in a world without rules.”
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