Binance Withdraws Application for Abu Dhabi License, Reassessing Compliance Needs

Hongji Feng
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Pixabay / satheeshsankaran

Binance has officially withdrawn its application for a financial license in Abu Dhabi, according to Reuters. This move is indicative of the exchange’s ongoing reassessment of its global operations and licensing requirements.

The application, submitted by BV Investment Management, a Binance unit, aimed to manage collective investment funds as per the details on the regulator’s website. According to a spokesperson for Binance, the move to retract the application was a strategic decision to align with the company’s reassessed compliance needs.

Binance’s Retraction from UAE

“When assessing our global licensing needs, we decided this application was not necessary,” said the spokesperson.

This application, filed a year ago and officially retracted on November 7th, signals a potential shift in Binance’s operational focus and global strategy. Despite the timing, the decision to pull the license application was “unrelated” to the U.S. settlement, according to the spokesperson.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Service Regulatory Authority (FSRA) declined to respond to Reuter’s request for comment.

Binance’s former CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), a Canadian citizen born in China, also acquired UAE citizenship. As CZ pled guilty in the anti-money laundering case, he requested to return to the UAE before his sentencing in Feb. 2023. However, a federal judge has just ruled that CZ must remain in the U.S., overturning a previous ruling by a magistrate judge.

More Ceased Operations in Other Regions

In the past year, Binance has reduced its presence in several countries as part of its global strategy and regulatory compliance efforts. The cryptocurrency exchange withdrew from license application processes in Germany and Cyprus and ceased operations in the Netherlands. It was also directed to stop its operations in Belgium, prompting the establishment of a new entity in Poland to serve Belgian clients.

Additionally, Binance has made notable adjustments in other regions outside the EU. In the U.K., it halted accepting new users, and in Russia, it announced plans to divest its business. In Australia, the exchange faced a setback when its derivatives business’s financial services license was cancelled. Furthermore, in the Philippines, regulators have initiated actions to restrict Binance’s operations.