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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Despite being home to the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, the UAE is not the Gulf region’s emerging regional crypto hub, according to CNN Business.
Binance doesn’t have a license as an exchange in Dubai, nor does it have banking regulations for crypto in place.
However, it has recently been approved to become a fully regulated, centralized crypto exchange in neighboring Bahrain.
Bahrain already has banking regulation for crypto, which makes it an attractive home for crypto companies to set up there, CNN reports, citing the CEO of CoinMENA, Talal Tabbaa.
Unlike the UAE, the Central Bank of Bahrain, or CBB, also accepts cryptocurrencies as an official method of payment, which allows banks to work with exchanges.
Referring to the lack of banking regulations in UAE, Tabbaa said it is the “biggest obstacle”, adding that "if banking was sorted, then Dubai could be the number one destination for crypto."
CoinMENA is not the only exchange licensed by the CBB.
The cryptocurrency platform, Rain, which held a trading volume of over $1 billion in the first half of 2021, is based in the country and licensed by the central bank.
"In response to the growing demand for crypto assets, the Central Bank of Bahrain has been one of the Middle East's early adopters in the crypto assets space," CNN reported, citing the Bank’s Governor, Rasheed Al Maraj.
Separately, Dubai’s Museum of the Future will host the founder of Binance Changpeng Zhao on Feb. 24 2022, to discuss digital tokens and blockchain technology.
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