A University in Dubai Halts Plan of Accepting Crypto through Binance Pay

A University in Dubai Halts Plan of Accepting Crypto through Binance Pay

The Canadian University in Dubai (CUD) made headlines on Sunday after announcing that it partnered with Binance Pay. Not even 24 hours after announcing that it will allow its existing and prospective students to pay their fees with cryptocurrencies from domestic and international students. But a technical roadblock watered down the excitement behind the short-lived initiative and diminished the excitement.

CUD is a Dubai-based private University with around 18 000 international and domestic students from over 25 undergraduates and six graduate programs offering an education system formed on the curriculum employed in North America. In an interview with experts at Bitcode Method they mentioned that the University has backtracked on its decision to allow students to pay their tuition and course fees in cryptocurrencies.The partnership with Binance would have allowed students from various backgrounds easy access to the Canadian curriculum in Dubai through the latter’s proprietary payment technology.

Binance received the cryptocurrency license from Dubai’s regulators in September 2022. According to the University post, it noted, “Dear CUD Community, for technical reasons, CUD will not be accepting cryptocurrency as a method of payment until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

Overview of Binance Pay

Binance pay is a payment gateway service that is a borderless and contactless gateway on the Binance App that allows businesses and users to integrate support for cryptocurrency payments worldwide without incurring special handling fees. According to the initial announcement made by the University, the partnership with Binance allowed the institution to “have adapted to the transforming digital payment space.”

According to Binance’s initial post, “#Binance helps bring crypto to @CUDUAE, a leading university in Dubai. Prospective and current students can now pay their fees, including tuition fees, with crypto. Powered by Binance Pay.” Binance Pay supports over 200 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LCT) and Polygon (MATIC), with zero fees charged per transaction. The service has signed many clients in the UAE, including company formation specialists Virtuzone.

Other businesses that accepted the use of crypto

Virtuzone is the first company to accept cryptocurrency payments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for business setup through Binance Pay. The company was started to boost the growth of e-commerce startups in the UAE and aims to help reduce barriers to entrepreneurship by enabling cryptocurrency payments for setup. Virtuzone creates more opportunities for global businesses to tap into the country’s thriving startup community.

Binance facilitates settlements and crypto-to-crypto gateway, which led Virtuzone to join the ranks of  Majid Al Futtaim and JA Resorts and Hotels as the first corporations in the UAE to have integrated Binance Pay into their systems. In 2022, a five-star hotel in the luxurious part of Al Furja, in Dubai, started accepting  Ethereum, Bitcoin and Binance’s stablecoin as payment from guests. 

Dubai’s Museum of the Future, the $136 million UAE government-sponsored museum that opened in May 2022, joined forces with Binance NFT to roll out a scope of digital products on the blockchain. Many businesses in Dubai have started to adopt digital assets, while the UAE is crypto-friendly to users. Dubai has also sealed a landmark lawbook that governs how the Emirate will control cryptocurrency activities.

On February 7 2023, Dubai announced crypto regulations for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) when Binance was eyeing a partnership with CUD. A Full Market Product Regulation was issued by the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority, including four mandatory rulebooks and activity-specific law books that lay down the laws for operating VASPs.

The United Arab Emirates crypto and blockchain Lawyer Irina Heaver posted, “Dubai’s Virtual Assets and Regulatory Authority issued the long-awaited Full Market Regulations for Virtual Assets Services Providers (VASPs).” Heaver added, “Regulatory certainty is perfect for business. It is good for consumers, investors and the Emirate of Dubai. The regulations are long-awaited and most welcomed.”

Dubai Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) have special enforcement powers in the development and free zones except for the Dubai International Financial Centre. VARA noted, “Dubai’s VARA has issued its Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023. The Regulations set out a comprehensive Virtual Asset (VA) Framework built on principles of economic sustainability & cross-border financial security.” VARA added, “The issuance of Anonymity-Enhanced Cryptocurrencies and all VA Activities related to them are prohibited in the Emirate.” The new laws create a legal framework for crypto to protect investors and design much-warranted international standards for industry governance.

On February 7 2023, a cryptocurrency workshop and information session for CUD was hosted by Binance. Students were educated about blockchain and crypto fundamentals, the Metaverse and Web3. General Manager of Binance in Dubai, Alexander Chehade, said, “Binance welcomes this new set of regulatory guidelines that focus on safeguarding users and investors while supporting the development of blockchain-enabled solutions and encouraging innovation in the Web3 ecosystem.” According to the Co-founder of Crypto Oasis, Saqr Ereiqa, Dubai is on its way to becoming a truly global hub for crypto. Ereiqa noted, “We are witnessing an unprecedented migration of talent and capital from around the world into the UAE.”

The University has yet to announce the reason behind backtracking on its partnership with Binance to allow students to pay their fees in digital currencies instead of fiat currencies. 

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