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inance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has recently retracted its application for a crypto license in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This move, as clarified by a Binance spokesperson, is part of a broader reassessment of the company's global licensing strategy and is not related to its recent settlement in the United States.

Background: U.S. Settlement and Leadership Changes

In November, Binance settled a legal dispute with U.S. authorities, incurring a $4.3 billion penalty. CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as “CZ”, admitted guilt in failing to implement an effective Anti-Money Laundering program, violating the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. Consequently, Zhao stepped down as CEO, with Richard Teng, former head of regional markets, assuming the role. Teng noted that Binance has undergone significant changes post-settlement.

Binance’s Rights and Commitment in Abu Dhabi

Despite withdrawing its license application, Binance Limited retains the right to offer crypto custody services within the Abu Dhabi Global Market. The company remains dedicated to cooperating with global regulators and is planning to expand in various regions, including Dubai.

Legal Proceedings and Future of Former CEO

Following the agreement in the U.S., Zhao, currently out on bail, is awaiting a court decision that may allow him to return to his family in the UAE. The former CEO faces a potential prison term of up to 18 months, with his sentencing scheduled for February.

Conclusion: Binance's Evolving Global Strategy

Binance's decision to cancel its UAE crypto license application reflects a strategic pivot in its global operations. While continuing to engage with international regulators, the company is realigning its efforts to adapt to the changing landscape of the cryptocurrency market.

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