Canada and Bahrain have given their approval to Binance.

It will be Binance's first regulatory approval in the Middle East and North Africa region if the Bahrain application is approved.

Binance is ringing in the new year with endorsements from two different parts of the globe.

The Central Bank of Bahrain has awarded the crypto exchange an in-principle licence to operate as a crypto asset service provider in Bahrain. The in-principle permission is a first for a Binance business in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to the release.

In a statement, Binance CEO Changpend Zhao, or “CZ,” said that approval from national regulators is “essential to build trust in crypto and blockchain and help further improve mass adoption.”

When it comes to licensing, it is “a matter of formalities,” according to Abdulkarim Haji, director for licensing at the country’s central bank. He highlighted Bahrain as the ideal location for Binance to establish its headquarters in the region.

In a surprise move, Binance has also obtained a crypto financing license in Canada, incorporated as Binance Canada Capital Market. The new subsidiary of the exchange will handle digital assets, money transfers, foreign exchange and function as a money service business (MSB).

CZ confirmed the licensing on Twitter. He said the company is excited to expand its customer support team to include customers and other crypto exchanges.

On Friday, the crypto exchange applied FINTRAC for an MSB license and was approved on Monday. The exchange’s current financial license will expire on Dec. 31, 2024.

Bahrain, the smallest economy in the Gulf, has been a leader in the digital asset market. After getting permission to operate from the country's central bank in 2019, Rain Financial became the region's first regulated crypto-asset platform. Bahrain's monetary authority renewed Manama-based CoinMENA's licence in January.

Binance's decision underscores the company's growing interest in the Middle East. According to Cointelegraph, the company recently became the first crypto exchange to join the new crypto hub established by the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority.

In 2021, Binance's regulatory voyage has been nothing short of thrilling, as the cryptocurrency exchange continues to grow into new countries and gain regulatory licence. Simultaneously, it has received harsh criticism, warnings, and fines from a number of agencies.

The Financial Crimes Investigation Board recently penalised Binance Turkey $750,000 for failing to meet financial surveillance report criteria.
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