Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao discussed his company’s MENA presence in an ask-me-anything (AMA) session published on April 6.
CZ discusses MENA presence
During the session, Zhao placed an emphasis on Binance’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa — commonly referred to as MENA.
Zhao described the region as business-driven and noted rapid growth, writing:
“I think when I first came to Dubai, there were maybe half a dozen crypto companies. Today, there are probably more than 700.”
He also described the state of blockchain in Africa, explaining he sees potential in that region due to financial exclusion and a lack of bank access among its citizens.
He added that, looking back, Binance should have engaged with MENA regulators earlier, made education efforts sooner, and come to the area at an earlier date.
Zhao added that he is personally based in the MENA region and is “not just visiting.” He said that the area is often misunderstood by the West and called its residents “very humble, very business-driven, very reasonable, and very friendly.”
Though the AMA session transcript was published today, Zhao originally answered the questions on March 22 as part of Binance’s Ramadan activities.
Binance operates in six MENA countries
Binance operates in several MENA countries. Perhaps most notably, the company gained in principle approval to operate in Abu Dhabi in early 2022. The company gained full permission in November of that year, according to a blog post.
However, the situation is not entirely positive. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Emirate of Dubai are increasing regulatory scrutiny, according to reports from Bloomberg on April 5. As a result, Binance and other crypto firms have been asked to provide a considerable amount of information in order to remain compliant with the law.
Within the MENA region, Binance operates in Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE (which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi), according to its website.
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