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Regulatory clarity is one factor that prompted Kraken to expand into the UAE.
Crypto exchange Kraken has received a license from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate a regulated trading platform in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Kraken will now expand into the Middle East and open its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Curtis Ting, Kraken’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, told CNBC’s Dan Murphy that the company is satisfied and excited about the development. He noted that the crypto company would begin to offer Dirham pairs for investors within the region.
Apart from being the first exchange in UAE to receive a full financial license from the ADGM, Kraken will become the first exchange to offer direct trading in UAE dirhams against BTC, ETH, and other virtual assets. Ting added that Kraken commits to ensuring that traders and investors have access to local currencies by facilitating access to global markets and global liquidity.
Kraken to Launch in UAE
According to Kraken, its launch in the UAE is a push into the lucrative market that exists in the region. Chainalysis data acknowledged the Middle East as one of the rapid-growing crypto markets globally. The region accounts for about 7% of the global trading volumes. Annually, the UAE conducts crypto transactions worth approximately $25 billion. A Chainalysis study between July 2020 and June 2021 shows that the UAE is third among Middle East countries with the highest crypto trading volumes. Turkey tops the list with about $132.4 billion worth of crypt transactions. Lebanon follows with $26 billion worth of crypto transactions.
It is safe to conclude that regulatory clarity is one factor that prompted Kraken to expand into the UAE. The global head of bank research at Citi, Ronit Ghose, earlier said:
“One of the reasons we see an influx of entrepreneurs, builders, operators and developers coming into Abu Dhabi and Dubai… is because there is a sense of greater regulatory clarity at ADGM, in Dubai, and at a federal level.”
Ghose also referred to the high number of talents that have established themselves in the UAE since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the UAE has proved to be a home for crypto and Web3.
Increasing Crypto Exchanges’ Presence in UAE
Binance is also expanding into the Middle East. The world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume got approval earlier this month to operate in Abu Dhabi. The exchange received the provisional green light to serve as a broker-dealer in digital assets. Similarly, Bybit was given approval last month to open a headquarters in Dubai. In March, Bybit CEO and co-founder Ben Zhou said the UAE is working on becoming the global central hub for crypto by welcoming different exchanges.
FTX is setting up a regional headquarters in Dubai very soon as well. The crypto company has a virtual-asset license to begin operation.