Envision a nation boasting over 170 million citizens, surpassing Russia and nearing Bangladesh’s population. This isn’t a fictional superpower but the reported user base of Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange.
If Binance were to be a country, its population would eclipse that of established financial institutions, sparking profound discussions about the future of finance and regulatory frameworks.
Is Binance Already the 8th Largest ‘Nation’ on Earth? Within this innovative landscape, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region stands as a crypto innovation hub, where Binance’s presence signifies a major leap forward.
Despite facing ongoing regulatory challenges, particularly in the US, Binance has witnessed a surge in users, with an additional 30 million joining since a recent settlement.
Some attribute this growth to the deep loyalty within Binance’s user base, evidenced by high retention rates and engagement metrics. Additionally, the platform’s continual innovation may contribute to its user retention. However, is this loyalty driven by user experience or simply convenience?
The comparison with Bangladesh and Russia, regardless of the latter’s political position and its complex relation with the United States, underscores the extensive reach of Binance. Beyond sheer user numbers, it signifies the platform’s potential to disrupt traditional financial frameworks and shape global economic dynamics.
Today, the Binance team remains composed, with leadership focusing mainly on regulatory compliance and allowing the ripple effect of its size to drive growth.
Richard Teng, who succeeded CZ, isn’t in the spotlight every day. Instead, a group of young and talented people, who understand their surroundings and the market, are steering the company’s direction.
Insights from individuals like Bandar AlTunisi, Head of Development at Binance in Saudi Arabia, underscore Binance’s approach to local markets.
By closely collaborating with regulators and delving into cultural nuances, Binance exhibits a proactive stance toward adaptation and compliance.
Bandar is optimistic and expresses confidence that Binance leads the pack in this regard. However, as Saudi Arabia has yet to establish specific regulations, the anticipation remains high, and Binance stands ready to submit for operations as soon as the regulatory framework is established—anticipating the arrival of such regulation, which might occur within a month, a year, or longer.
Similarly, Bader Al Kalooti, Head of Binance Middle East, Africa, Southern Asia (MEASA), and Turkey, highlights Binance’s respect for local regulations.
Bader clarifies Binance’s strategy of refraining from active promotion or solicitation within strictly regulated environments. Instead, Binance facilitates access for users in such markets to the global platform, allowing them to independently onboard using stablecoins. Here, users can seamlessly engage in transactions, with off-ramp activities facilitated through peer-to-peer mechanisms.
Despite encountering numerous challenges, Binance has emerged stronger from each. Its most significant setback came with the discontinuation of its stablecoin (BUSD), providing a boost to its competitor, Tether, which hindered Binance’s progression towards becoming a global payment platform.
However, the settlement in the US, which some view as harsh, has ultimately been a positive development for Binance.
Even CZ acknowledged wrongdoing during Binance’s early stages when regulatory clarity was lacking, and innovation was driving the company forward, attracting users from around the world. Nevertheless, with the SEC remaining on standby mode, potential future cases against Binance loom.
It’s worth noting that the settlement does not cover any future cases with the SEC. Nevertheless, it appears that Binance, operating outside the US, is comparable to a nuclear country, where touching or challenging it won’t be easy.
Yet, with CZ’s strategic departure, the future of Binance now rests in the hands of its second-tier management, a typical progression for startups. Nonetheless, the company’s resilience is evident as it forges ahead with strategic regulatory partnerships.
Binance is now regulated in ADGM in the United Arab Emirates, operating under an MVP Operational license with the Dubai regulator VARA while awaiting final approval. Additionally, the team is actively conducting operations from Bahrain, leveraging their license from the Central Bank of Bahrain.
Last but not least, discussions are progressing positively in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. With these strategic moves in the Middle East and North Africa, Binance is charting a hopeful trajectory, beaming with confidence for its future endeavors.