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Binance launches New Zealand-based offices following regulatory approval

Binance launches New Zealand-based offices following regulatory approval

Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has registered with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and opened local offices in the country.

In a Sept. 29 tweet, Binance said it was registered as a financial service provider in New Zealand, allowing residents to access services including spot trading, nonfungible tokens and staking. The move to the crypto-friendly Pacific nation followed regulators in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kazakhstan and Italy giving the green light for Binance to open an offshoot.

“New Zealand is an exciting market with a strong history of fintech innovation,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

New Zealand lawmakers and regulators have largely not imposed strict guidelines for crypto firms to operate in the country, nor for Kiwis to use cryptocurrencies freely. The country’s tax authority said in 2019 that income from crypto was legal, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been exploring the potential benefits and risks of a central bank digital currency.

In June, Huobi Global secured registration as a registered financial service provider in New Zealand but later suspended its derivatives trading services for residents, citing compliance with local regulations. With a population of roughly 5.1 million, New Zealand is a smaller market compared with that of its neighbor Australia, where a reported 4.2 million people own crypto.

Related: Aussie banks ANZ and NAB won’t ‘endorse’ retail speculation on crypto

Though expanding to many countries around the globe, Binance has still been the target of some regulators. In July, the Netherlands’ central bank fined Binance Holdings $3.3 million for offering crypto services without registering. The firm also formed a task force called the Global Advisory Board on Sept. 22 aimed at tackling regulatory issues related to crypto, blockchain and Web3 adoption.

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