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DUBAI: Cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance, one of the world’s largest, said Tuesday it had been granted an operating licence in Bahrain, its first in the Gulf.

The company, which was founded in China but has since been banned there, said it would provide crypto asset trading and portfolio management services under the supervision of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao praised the “stringent criteria of the Central Bank of Bahrain” in terms of anti-money laundering, at a time when most regulators around the world are wary of cryptocurrencies.

Crypto exchange Binance blocks Russian users targeted by sanctions

Bahrain hopes to become a regional hub for crypto asset companies, as does Dubai.

The Emirate this month also announced the adoption of a virtual assets law and the creation of a crypto asset regulatory authority.

Another major cryptocurrency exchange platform, FTX, also announced on Tuesday the launch of its operations and the opening of a regional headquarters in Dubai.

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