Binance, a global cryptocurrency exchange, announced on Thursday that its subsidiary in Bahrain has received a Category 4 license as a crypto asset service provider (CASP) from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
According to the announcement, Binance Bahrain is the first exchange to be awarded a category 4 license by the CBB. The Category 4 license will allow Binance Bahrain to offer a full range of crypto trading services to consumers under the supervision of the Bahrain regulators.
Richard Teng, Head of MENA at Binance, further elaborated: “The upgrade to a Category 4 license in the Kingdom of Bahrain is a landmark achievement for Binance and further signifies our commitment to being a compliance-first exchange. This will allow us to provide the full suite of products and services that users have come to expect from an exchange, in a safe and well-regulated environment. We are grateful to the Central Bank of Bahrain for their support and vision in granting Binance Bahrain this license. Bahrain is well on the path to becoming a leading global hub for crypto.”
In December, Binance Bahrain was granted preliminary approval for the license but was required to complete the full application process before being awarded the full license. Bahrain, therefore, became the first nation in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region to grant such a license.
In March, Binance obtained a Category 3 license from the Central Bank that accepted it as a crypto service agent-principal provider. The license marked a significant step for the exchange to expand in the Middle East.
The Middle East Becoming a Crypto Trading Hub
Financial regulators and banks in the Middle East had been slower to embrace crypto than Europe and the US. Before the pandemic, the crypto market in the Middle East was still in its infancy. But after one year, the region started witnessing signs that crypto coins are evolving into an everyday part of life.
As a result, several cryptocurrency exchanges have emerged and raised funding, including Binance, Yoshi Markets, BitOasis, and CoinMENA, among others.
The Middle East and Bahrain in particular, is already a leader in fintech services. Flexible regulatory frameworks, rapid digital transformation, and a strong appetite for innovation in the financial sector are factors that have contributed to the region’s emerging position as a fintech hub, where technologies cryptocurrency and open banking can thrive.
In 2019, The Central Bank of Bahrain announced a legislative framework in 2019 by overseeing regulated crypto-asset services in the country, and keeping with its ambition of becoming a leading FinTech centre in the region.
Since the establishment of the regulatory framework, a number of crypto entities are taking advantage of the opportunity and collaborating closely with the CBB in optimizing their offerings. Firms that intend to participate in crypto financing are expected to obtain a license under Categories 1, 2,3, or 4 from the CBB.
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