Binance Forges Links In The Gulf As It Seeks Fixed Base

Crypto-trading platform’s lack of formal headquarters has added to regulators’ concerns. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is setting down roots in the Gulf as it seeks to placate global regulators by establishing a fixed home base and regulatory ties for its international business.

The group this week announced that it had secured cryptoasset licences from both Dubai and Bahrain, as it moves away from portraying itself as a decentralised organisation with no fixed headquarters. Binance’s decision to seek a more traditional structure — with regional offices, headquarters and key regulatory links — marks a big concession to sustained pressure from financial watchdogs around the world.

Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao described the licence from Bahrain as “a milestone in our journey to being fully licensed and regulated around the world” and praised Dubai for its “unique operating model” for the crypto industry. The green light from Bahrain on Monday marked the first big regulatory relationship for Binance’s global business.

Local units in the group’s sprawling web of corporate entities have applied for supervision or based key operations in several countries including the UK, Singapore, Lithuania and Malta, but the international business — which is registered in the Cayman Islands — has resisted being tied to a particular jurisdiction.

Binance said the cryptoasset license, the first such permit issued by Bahrain, would allow the company to provide cryptoasset trading, custodial services and portfolio management to customers. The company on Wednesday said it had been granted a virtual asset license by a new Dubai virtual asset regulator, enabling it to operate within the emirate’s “test-adapt-scale” model as a base for regional expansion.

The Dubai permissions will allow Binance to extend limited exchange products to pre-qualified investors and professional financial service providers. The firm will also locate a “blockchain technology hub” in the Dubai World Trade Centre. Weekly newsletter For the latest news and views on fintech from the FT’s network of correspondents around the world. But the exchange’s search for a home base is not over.

A source close to the company said it did not plan to establish its headquarters in Bahrain. The license in Bahrain also may not be enough to convince western regulators that Binance is adequately supervised in key areas such as anti-money laundering controls and consumer protection. “It’s better than nothing but not enough to make a material difference in the US and Europe,” a former US regulatory official said.

Rival exchange FTX also received a license from Dubai on Tuesday, and said it would set up a regional headquarters in the city. Binance’s Zhao told the Financial Times recently that he was now based in Dubai, where he bought a home last year, having previously run the global group from Singapore.

Binance last year appointed Richard Teng, a former Singaporean regulator and senior official at Abu Dhabi’s international financial centre, as chief executive of its Singapore arm, fuelling speculation that the company might try to make the city state its official home. However, the exchange’s Singapore unit in December dropped its application for a licence to run a crypto business in the country after regulators ordered Binance Singapore to stop all crypto transfers with the global exchange Binance.com, which the regulator placed on an investor alert list and said “may be in breach” of local law.

Teng has since been appointed the exchange’s regional head for the Middle East and north Africa. Recommended Cryptocurrencies Binance plots M&A spree as regulators scrutinise crypto trading unit Binance’s licensing by the Bahrain central bank marks the opening of a tussle among regional financial centres for dominance of the cryptocurrency space.

Bahrain, once the financial hub of the Middle East, has identified cryptocurrencies and fintech as areas in which it can regain momentum against its regional competitors. Dubai’s move into cryptocurrencies comes at a sensitive time for the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this month, the country was placed on the Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list” of jurisdictions under enhanced monitoring of their compliance with anti-money laundering measures.

Some UAE officials, keen to extricate the country from the grey list as soon as possible, have said they fear that welcoming cryptocurrency firms such as Binance will hinder the country’s recent attempts to clamp down on illicit money.

By: in London and in Dubai

Source: Binance forges links in the Gulf as it seeks fixed base | Financial Times

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Critics:

Financial regulators across the world have targeted Binance. However, Khalid Humaidan, CEO of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), believes the collaboration with the major cryptocurrency exchange will further advance the investment promotion agency’s mission to establish the Kingdom of Bahrain as a leading business hub.

The mounting regulatory pressure has had little effect on Binance’s expansion plans. To further boost its presence in the Middle East, the exchange was reportedly in talks of obtaining an operational license in Dubai.

Binance also made a comeback in Malaysia after an equity investment in MX Global, a regulated digital asset trading platform. Besides, the crypto giant was also eyeing an expansion to countries like Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. This came after the Russian President’s comment that the digital asset mining industry could benefit the country.

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Tokenized Apple, Tesla And Coinbase? Why Binance Is Bowing Out.

Binance Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng Interview

Tokenized stocks, or digital assets pegged to the price of company shares, are no longer available for purchase on Binance.com. Offerings had included Tesla, Apple, and Coinbase shares, which Binance claims were fully backed through shares held by its partner, German-based investment firm CM-Equity AG.

Support for stock tokens was first made available on Binance.com in April, 2021, which was enabled through a partnership with Digital Assets AG, a firm focused on issuing tokenized financial products.

“Today, we are announcing that we will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings,” the announcement reads.

Although the exact reason for the about-face is unclear, Binance’s reversal on tokenized stocks comes as financial regulators around the world are putting pressure on the firm. Officials in Germany, Thailand, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom have all issued warnings about the exchange over recent months, the firm has been dropped by the payments processor Clear Junction, and certain banking relationships in Europe and around the world are coming into question.

More broadly, it raises doubts about Binance’s hyper growth strategy of rapidly launching new products around the world such as debit cards and derivatives products.

Users currently holding stock tokens have 90 days to sell their shares. Clients in the European Economic Area and Switzerland have the option to transfer their holdings to a new digital asset platform from CM-Equity AG. After October 14, 2021 they will not be able to manually sell or close their positions on the Binance site.

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Source: Tokenized Apple, Tesla And Coinbase? Why Binance Is Bowing Out.

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Critics:

Binance will list MicroStrategy, Microsoft and Apple, providing Binance users with exposure via the tokenization of equities. The tokens are expected to be denominated in the exchange’s stablecoin, BUSD.

The move means Binance users will be able to qualify for economic returns on the underlying shares, which will include potential dividends. The tokens also allow Binance customers to purchase as little as one-hundredth of a regular stock using BUSD.

Binance’s stock tokens are tokenized equities that can be traded on traditional stock exchanges. Each tokenized stock represents one ordinary share of the stock and is backed by a depository portfolio of underlying securities held by CM-Equity AG, Germany, according to the post.

Two stock tokens have begun trading on Binance including electric vehicle maker Tesla and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Those listings are already ruffling the feathers of regulators who say the exchange has not acquired the necessary license to begin marketing equities to the public.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is allowing its users to buy fractions of companies’ shares with a new tokenized stock trading service, starting with Tesla.

  • The crypto exchange announced Monday the launch of Binance Stock Tokens, zero-commission digital tokens that qualify holders for returns including dividends.
  • As of 1:35 p.m. UTC (9:35 a.m. ET) April 12, users will be able to buy fractions of actual Tesla shares, which trade at $677 a share at the time of writing.
  • Users will be able to purchase as little as one-hundredth of a Tesla share, with prices settled in Binance USD (BUSD).
  • The exchange’s native crypto Binance Coin (BNB) has surged more than 25% in the last 24 hours, reaching an all-time high of $637.44. It is priced at $590.51 at press time. It’s not immediately clear what is driving the price of the coin.
  • It’s not the first tokenized stock play in crypto land: Terra Labs’ Mirror Protocol went live in December.
  • But where Mirror uses synthetic stocks (or tokenized representations of actual equities), the Binance product is “backed by a depository portfolio of underlying securities” managed by an investment firm in Germany.

See also: Binance Faces CFTC Probe Over US Customers Trading Derivatives: Report

Related Stories

10 Great Tips for Practicing Safe DEX With Binance Chain

 

https://i0.wp.com/s15543.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/9j4a1527-900x450.jpg?resize=840%2C420&ssl=1

This article provides several tips for using Binance DEX more safely. Before we start, it is important to bring your attention to something pointed out by Binance Academy in its tutorial for creating a Binance DEX wallet: As a Binance DEX user, you will hold full custody of your funds. No one, not even Binance will be able to help you recover your wallet if you lose your private key, mnemonic phrase or keystore file. After you create a wallet, Binance DEX will generate the following for you:

  • A Keystore File (encrypted & password protected)
    • “A keystore file contains your private key along with your public key and address (both of which are derived from your private key). This file is encrypted and password protected. This is the recommended way to access your wallet if you do not have access to a supported hardware device.”
  • A Mnemonic Phrase
    • “A mnemonic phrase is generated based on a BIP39 word list – this phrase allows you to access your wallet, but should not be used regularly. It is recommended you only use your mnemonic phrase as a backup.”
  • A Private Key
    • “This allows you to access your wallet, but should not be used regularly. It is recommended you only use your private key as a backup.”

The following security tips are from a post by user “Binance Chain Assistant” on the Binance community forum:

  • “Do not share your mnemonic phrase with anyone.”
    • Nobody from Binace will ever be asking you to tell them your mnemonic phrase. Anyone you share this phrase with will be able to take control of your funds, and neither the Binance Chain validators nor anyone from Binance (not even CZ himself) will be able to get your funds back.
  • “Do not store your mnemonic phrase in unsafe places such as email or unencrypted text file or excel spreadsheet.”
    • If your ever lose control of your email account or your device, you could lose your funds if you have stored your mnemonic phrase in an unencrypted form.
  • “Do not lose/forget your mnemonic phrase.”
    • As Binance points out, it is vital that you store your mnemonic phrase somewhere really safe and to realize that if you ever lose/forget your mnemonic, nobody will be able to help you recover it.
  • “Do not use mnemonic phrase to unlock your wallets”
    • This is so that you do not lose your mnemonic phrase because of some phishing website/app. It is much safer to use either Trust Wallet or a hardware wallet (such as Ledger Nano S) to unlock your wallet.
    • Although the Binance DEX website’s current “Unlock Your Wallet” page gives four ways to unlock your wallet, including via mnemonic phrase, this option will be removed in the future, and you will then only be able to use the mnemonic phrase for Keystore file recovery.
  • “Do not send your fund to unverified addresses.”
    • That’s because real “giveaway” campaigns, unlike scam operations, do not need to ask you to send funds first to any particular address.
  • “Do not use SDK or Trading Bots that are not 100% trusted.”
    • This is important because “you may have to input your private key into the libraries or the software” and therefore your private key could become compromised. The alternative approach of using a signing service is much safer.
  • “Do not issue/list your assets with mnemonic phrase.”
    • You should either (a) use a hardware wallet for signing transactions; or (b) use an offline device to generate the signed transactions and then broadcast them via another internet-connected device.
  • “Do not believe in any proactive emails from Binance DEX you receive.”
    • That’s because Binance DEX does not have an official customer support team. And you will not be receiving any emails from the Binance Chain development team either.
  • “Use separate wallets/addresses for trading and long term storage”
    • For long term storage of large assets, it makes sense to use “a hardware wallet or mobile wallet which you don’t access often.”
  • “Stick to the best practices to use Internet safely”
    • Some examples of such best practices are making sure that the device you are using for accessing Binance DEX has the latest version of the operating system, that you are using the latest version of the browser for accessing the Binance DEX website or the latest version of the wallet app providing the interface to Binance DEX, that you are not using any untrusted browser extensions, and that you do not click on links/attachments in unverified emails.

Source: CryptoGlobe

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Critics:

Binance DEX (launched in 2019) is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on Binance Chain that allows exchanging digital assets issued and listed on it. The matching happens within the blockchain nodes and all of the transactions are recorded on-chain, therefore forming a complete, auditable ledger of activity.

Binance was co-founded by Chinese software developer and entrepreneur, Changpeng Zhao, popularly known as CZ, and Yi He. The other notable members include Ted Lin (CGO), Catherine Coley (CEO, Binance US), Jarred Winn (Senior VP), Gleb Kostarev (CIS and Eastern Europe, Russia), Jiho Kang (South Korea), and Erick Zhang (MD). 
Binance was founded in China, but due to China’s regulation of cryptocurrencies, it moved its servers and operations in Japan in 2017 and then to Malta in early 2018.
 
Binance Holding Ltd has raised a total of $25 million USD in funding over 7 rounds so far. The investor list includes some well-known identities and firms like Edith Yeung, Janse Capital, Chris McCann , Plutus21, Black Hole Capital , Funcity Capital , Sequoia Capital, Limitless Crypto Investments , Fundamental Labs and Vertex Ventures.
After two months of testnet period involving nearly 8.5 million transactions across a simulated trading competition, coding competition, bug bounty program and new updates and enhancements, the first version of mainnet was released on April 23, 2019.
 
The mainnet was released along with the launching of Binance Smart Chain and so Binance Coin (BNB) migrated from ERC20 standards to BEP-2 to become the native asset on Binance Chain, and also Binance DEX, where it is used as base token to assist network transactions. The users were allowed to create wallets using Binance official Trust Wallet and also third-party wallets like Enjin Crypto Wallet, Magnum Wallet, Coinomi Wallet, Atomic Wallet, ZelCore Wallet, Infinito Wallet, Math Wallet, Ellipal Wallet, Guarda Wallet, Exodus Wallet, and also hardware wallets, Ledger and CoolWallet. The users also gained access to the Binance Chain Explorer, web wallet, public data nodes and APIs, but actual trading began later.
 
genesis

Binance Coin Recovers Quickly After Recent Bloodbath

Binance Coin seems to have started its recovery after the recent cryptocurrency bloodbath. Binance Coin has seen a 5.71% price rebound over the past 24 hours of trading, allowing the coin’s price to rise back above the $30 mark to trade at around $31.18.

The cryptocurrency has seen a 6% price drop over the past 7 trading days, but has still seen a remarkable 42% price increase over the past 30 days, with a further impressive 104% price increase over the past 3 months.

Source: CoinCheckup

Binance Coin is currently ranked in 7th position amongst the top cryptocurrency projects by market cap value, as it currently holds a $4.51 billion market cap.

The cryptocurrency recently rebounded from support at the short-term .382 Fibonacci Retracement level at around $28.88. This latest bounce may help create a fresh ATH for Binance Coin above the $35 level.

Let us continue to analyze BNB/USD and highlight some potential areas of resistance moving forward.

Binance Coin Price Analysis

BNB/USD – MEDIUM TERM – DAILY CHART

What Has Been Going On?

Analyzing the daily chart for BNB/USD above, we can see that toward the end of May 2019, Binance Coin reached a high around $35 and rolled over. The cryptocurrency continued to fall during June 2019, but we can see that BNB/USD recently bounced at support provided by the short-term .382 Fibonacci Retracement level (drawn in green), priced at $28.88. This level should continue to provide strong support for the market moving forward.

What Is the Current Trend?

The current trend for the market is bullish. For this bullish trend to be invalidated, we would need to see Binance Coin fall and break beneath the $28.88 support level. If Binance Coin was to continue to fall further lower and drop beneath $25.18, we could then consider the short-term trend to be bearish.

Where Can the Recent Rebound Take Us?

If the buying pressure continues to build and allows BNB/USD to break above the current resistance around the $31.20 level, we can expect immediate higher resistance above to be located at the short-term 1.272 Fibonacci Extension level (drawn in blue), priced at $32.41.

Above this, further higher resistance is then located at the medium-term 1.414 Fibonacci Extension level (drawn in purple), priced at $34.20. If the bulls continue to drive Binance Coin above the $35 resistance level, we can then expect more resistance to be located at the short-term 1.618 Fibonacci Extension level (drawn in blue), priced at $36.22. This is then followed with resistance at the medium-term 1.618 Fibonacci Extension level (drawn in purple), priced at $38.53.

If the bulls can clear the resistance at $38.53, the next level of resistance above is located at the $40 level.

Where Is the Support Beneath the Market?

Alternatively, if the sellers regroup and push the market lower – we can expect immediate support beneath the market to be located at $30 and $28.88. If the selling continues beneath $28.88, further support is then expected at $27.72, $26.60, $25.18, $24.81, and $22.67.

What Are the Technical Indicators Showing?

The Stochastic RSI is currently trading in extreme oversold conditions, which indicates that the market may continue this rebound further higher. If BNB is to climb above the current resistance, we would also need to see the RSI penetrate above the 50 level.

Conclusion

Binance Coin has been one of the strongest-performing cryptocurrencies during 2019, and is also one of the only ones to create a fresh ATH. The recent rebound at the $28.88 level seems like it will take Binance Coin much higher, which could possibly allow the cryptocurrency to create another fresh ATH above $36.

Source: Binance Coin Recovers Quickly After Recent Bloodbath

Binance Considers Currencies Other than USD for Stablecoin Launches – Cryptovest

Binance may open the doors to issuing stablecoins pegged to multiple national currencies, going beyond dollar-pegged stablecoins, reported Bloomberg. The CFO of Binance, Wei Zhou, stated that new stablecoins will start appearing on the exchange “in a matter of weeks to a month or two”.

The intention to expand to other assets arrives after Binance DEX announced it would host a stablecoin backed by the British pound, though not issued by Binance. In the coming days, a disclosure is expected about the servicing bank for the project, which should hold funds to back each coin with one GBP.

The reason for the launch of new stablecoins are the needs of international traders for more intuitive assets.

“From the users’ perspective, only certain portions of the world use the dollar,” Zhou said. “Other users use other currencies, and we feel it should be reflected in stablecoins as well.”

Binance is the biggest holder of Tether (USDT), holding at least 600 million USDT in several wallets. The exchange also hosts markets for Paxos (PAX), True USD (TUSD) and other smaller dollar-pegged coins.

The exchange shows significant usage for stablecoins, with most assets achieving equilibrium. But recently, Binance reported on a significant anomaly for Gemini USD (GUSD). While other stablecoins increased their supply or at least kept it within range, GUSD saw outflows diminish its supply from around 100 million coins in January, down to around 20 million coins currently.

Binance supports stablecoins on multiple networks, even before opening Binance Chain to the creation of new tokens. The exchange sees the potential for other blockchains to host stablecoins, such as TRON-based and EOS-based USDT tokens.

The Binance report expresses the belief that stablecoins may increase cryptocurrency adoption. The issuance of those types of assets “may lead to long-term benefits such as additional channels for global remittance, greater price efficiency for non-USD cryptocurrency exchanges or the development of blockchain FX exchanges, on or off-chain,” explained the researchers.

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Source: Binance Considers Currencies Other than USD for Stablecoin Launches – Cryptovest

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