On Monday, Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, received approval to operate in Abu Dhabi. The exchange is part of a larger drive into the Middle East, which is seeing a surge in crypto use.
The move was announced by Abu Dhabi’s market registration authorities in a statement. The exchange is the first to get a license from the Abu Dhabi Global Market financial centre to operate a regulated digital asset exchange, according to the regulator.
The move comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intensifies its ambitions to become the next crypto capital. In 2018, Abu Dhabi implemented crypto-friendly legislation, attracting investments from a number of big cryptocurrency companies.
Kraken establishes a Middle East headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
According to the markets regulator, Kraken, which has over 9 million members worldwide, has established its Middle East headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
The exchange has gained all of the necessary approvals from Abu Dhabi’s financial regulator and will soon allow investors to trade cryptocurrency directly in UAE Dirham.
Curtis Ting, Kraken’s Managing Director of EMEA, praised the UAE’s crypto-friendly rules and stated that the exchange expects to expand in the Middle East and North Africa region “in the months and years ahead.”
Kraken’s clearance also surpasses that of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, which has only an in-principle license to operate in Abu Dhabi.
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