Crypto exchange Kraken will launch in UAE as regional competition increases

Crypto exchange Kraken will launch in UAE as competition increases

April 26, 2022: -U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Kraken expands into the Middle East. It can open its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi after getting a full license to operate a regulated trading platform in the UAE.

“We’re excited to set up our operations right in the ADGM itself to operate a virtual asset platform that offers Dirham pairs for investors in the region,” Curtis Ting, Kraken’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, told CNBC.

Kraken becomes the first cryptocurrency exchange for offering direct funding and trading in UAE dirhams against bitcoin, ether, and other virtual assets after gaining regulatory approval from the ADGM and Financial Services Regulatory Authority local launch. 

“For us, it’s essential to facilitate access to global markets and global liquidity by ensuring that investors and traders in the region have access to local currencies,” Ting said.

Kraken launched in 2011 and operated in over 60 countries; said the UAE launch marks a more expansive play into a lucrative region. The Middle East is one of the growing cryptocurrency markets in the world, which makes up 7% of global trading volumes, according to Chainalysis.

The UAE transacts $25 billion worth of cryptocurrency in the previous year. It ranks third by volume in the region, behind Lebanon and Turkey, according to Chainalysis data studied between July 2020 and June 2021.

“One of the reasons we see an influx of entrepreneurs, builders, operators, and developers coming into Abu Dhabi and Dubai is due to the there is a sense of regulatory clarity at ADGM, in Dubai, and at a federal level,” Ronit Ghose, global head of fintech and digital at Citi, told CNBC on Thursday. 

“It’s frankly amazing some of the talents the UAE has attracted in the last 12 to 24 months during COVID,” Ghose said. “Is it beginning to establish itself as both a crypto and Web3 hub?”

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