Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance had a busy start to the year. A marked increase in regulatory scrutiny has seen Binance fall into the hands of regulators in several jurisdictions. These included the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Canada.
Despite the increased control, Binance continued to grow. Last week, FXEmpire reported Binance's plans to buy mainstream companies to drive blockchain adoption. Over the weekend, news broke that Binance is aiming for a cryptocurrency license in Dubai.
Binance looks to the Dubai license
According to Bloomberg, Binance is in discussions with the Dubai World Trade Center free zone for a virtual asset service provider license. The latest move comes after Bahrain gave Binance rough approval to be a crypto-asset service provider in the kingdom.
Last December, Binance also signed an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Center Authority to establish an industrial hub for virtual assets. Binance will support Dubai's ambition to drive economic prosperity through digital innovation.
According to the Binance press release:
"The goal is to assist cryptocurrency exchanges, businesses offering blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) services, and a wide range of currencies and digital assets to become licensed in Dubai."
For the cryptocurrency market and regulators, the latest news coincides with reports of Dubai becoming the place to be for Russians.
Binance points to Dubai as Russian money flows
Over the weekend, cryptocurrency firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported major cryptocurrency sales orders. According to Al Jazeera, the Russians see the UAE as a safe haven. Russian clients are placing billions of dollars worth of crypto sales orders, while also buying real estate with crypto. Only one sell order was reported for 125.000 Bitcoins (quotation BTC in real time).
The latest news suggests that the Russians can evade sanctions and transfer or liquidate assets in the UAE. Whether the US and other nations will target the UAE for their neutral stance and support for the Russians remains to be seen.
This weekend, the US government warned China that there would be consequences for helping Russia evade sanctions. For Binance, a UAE-like warning could lead to further regulatory scrutiny, particularly in NATO countries that include the United States and the United Kingdom.