Rain Financial, a Bahrain-based cryptocurrency exchange, has opened its public waiting list after a year in the Central Bank of Bahrain’s fintech sandbox. The company is planning to secure a full operational licence in 2019 and expand its operations in the GCC.
Rain was founded by Saudi blockchain consultant Abdullah Almoaiqel and Egyptian investor-turned-meetup organizer Yehia Badawy. Rain aims to offer both a brokerage for retail crypto investors and an institutional platform along the lines of Coinbase Pro in Silicon Valley. In September 2017, Rain became the first company to join the Bahrain sandbox — a regulatory program where applicants experiment under a close supervision and then graduate to full-fledged licensed businesses.
Currently, Rain is in talks with authorities to get a full licence to scale up its operations. If successful, the Rain platform will launch in early 2019, becoming the first Central Bank-licensed retail crypto investment exchange in the Middle East.
The chances of the Rain platform are quite high. Khalid Saad, CEO of Bahrain Fintech Bay, said:
“What is unique about Rain is they are the most advanced and the closest to graduating. There’s no cryptocurrency exchange in the region that is officially regulated. Hopefully, Rain will be the first one.”
Crypto experts believe that the launch of Rain could encourage flows of capital into the crypto ecosystem from countries with heavy stock of such natural resources as oil and gas. Up to date, most Persian Gulf residents have not participated in the crypto markets, as the industry has pretty shadowy reputation.
However, the Bahrain-based startup has attracted investors among which are Cumberland Mining founder Mike Komaransky, Bitcoin Core developer Jimmy Song, the crypto wallet startup Breadwallet, and Joseph Dallago, an alumnus of the crypto wallet startup Abra.
According to Rain co-founder Badawy, crypto-curious investors “are waiting for the right regulations to be in place and the right partners.” “We are here to fill this demand, with institutional-grade infrastructure,” he said.
Some of the Rain’s co-founders are sure that “the biggest issue in this industry is that of trust,” that’s why there is a need in the correct supervision which could provide comfort to investors interested in cryptocurrency trading.
John Collins, a partner at the advisory firm FS Vector in Washington, D.C. and former head of policy and government affairs at Coinbase, said:
“Whatever goes into a sandbox is designed to be small enough to fail, so that if it doesn’t work out there is remediation available.”
He further added:
“We want our customers to feel safe when they are using our product and have taken measures to ensure this, including establishing two stable bank partnerships and incorporating banking grade security checks and verification into our product.”
Rain has some unique features which make it the most advanced platform. That’s why it is safe to say that the Rain platform has all chances to become the first Central Bank-licensed retail crypto investment exchange in the Middle East.