So Now the UAE is being dubbed the Wall Street of Crypto. The terminology was first coined by no other than CZ (Zhao Changpeng) the Founder of Binance, whom a BloomBerg article noted as saying that the UAE is definitely the headquarters of Binance. This is the first time in the history of Binance where it actually announces it even has a headquarter.

It would seem that the Wall Street of Crypto has ousted both France and Bahrain as the base for Binance, as well as Singapore which Binance retreated from several months ago.

In the meantime Binance is actually bringing on Wall Street veterans such as Vishal Sacheendran, the former New York Mellon Bank executive who now holds the position of UAE based director for the Middle East and North Africa.  Richard Teng the head of Middle East and North Africa at Binance says more appointments from the banking sector will follow.

So far the UAE has granted licenses to a handful of international and global crypto exchanges including the latest Kraken, in addition to Binance, and others.

Despite this, Singapore is fighting back. Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, explained during the Financial Times’ Crypto & Digital Assets Summit on 27 April 2022 how much effort Singapore has put into blockchain, digital assets and digital payments.

As Menon in his speech stated, “In the last two years, we have granted licenses or in-principle approvals to 11 digital payment tokens service providers. They include global stablecoin players like Paxos, crypto exchanges like Coinhako as well as established financial institutions like DBS Vickers.  We have also issued in-principle approvals to Revolut and Luno.”

He adds, “The licensing process is stringent because we want to be a responsible global crypto hub, with innovative players but also with strong risk management capabilities. We only approve applicants with strong governance structures, fit and proper board and management, and we go through their track record.”

This ofcourse comes after the UAE announced its virtual asset regulatory Authority and its open stance towards crypto.

The interesting take away from all of this is who will eventually win the tug of war to be the hub for blockchain, crypto, and digital asset innovation, will it be The Wall Street of Crypto or the responsible global crypto hub, or maybe another country all together.