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Crypto exchange Kraken is set to become the first platform to offer direct trading in UAE dirhams against Bitcoin, Ether and other digital assets

The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in the world and now accounts for up to 7 percent of global trading volumes.

Abu Dhabi, UAE / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Tue, 26 Apr 2022, 08:40 am UTC

U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken will soon be pushing ahead with its expansion plans in the Middle East. The company will be setting up its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates after securing the necessary regulatory approval to operate a regulated trading platform in the country.

Kraken received a Financial Services Permission (FSP) license from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), allowing the crypto exchange to operate a regulated trading platform in the UAE, according to Coindesk. The U.S.-based crypto exchange added that it is the first company to receive a full financial license from ADGM.

The ADGM is a free zone for financial companies that want to operate in the city and offer their services to customers within the region. The crypto exchange was able to meet all approval conditions set by ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) to operate as a Virtual Asset Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and Custodian in the UAE.

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

With the license, Kraken is set to become the first crypto platform that will offer direct funding and trading in UAE dirhams against Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other digital assets. The company aims to offer its services to investors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through its Abu Dhabi office.

“For us, it’s really important to facilitate access to global markets and global liquidity by making sure that investors and traders in the region have access to local currencies,” Ting added.

Setting up shop in the region could significantly boost Kraken’s performance. Chainalysis data revealed that the Middle East is one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in the world and now accounts for up to 7 percent of global trading volumes.

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