Kraken is fully licensed to offer its virtual asset platform in the United Arab Emirates. It will allow cryptocurrency transactions paired with the local currency, the UAE dirham. With the introduction of dirham trading pairs, volumes in the region are already high and are expected to increase significantly.
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Kraken has obtained a full license to operate its regulated trading platform in the United Arab Emirates and will have its regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, it will be the first cryptocurrency exchange to allow users to directly fund their accounts and trade in the UAE currency, the dirham.
Kraken wins big
Kraken has made a major expansion in the Middle East, a region where cryptocurrencies are rapidly gaining popularity.
Kraken is fully licensed to operate a regulated trading platform in the United Arab Emirates and has received regulatory approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Markets and Financial Services Authority. In an interview with CNBC, Kraken’s EMEA managing director Curtis Ting said the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange will have operations in Abu Dhabi, where it can offer virtual assets to trade in dirham pairs .
This makes Kraken the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer direct funding and trading in Emirati dirhams, which Ting stressed is critical to the local population:
“Right now, cryptocurrencies are exciting, but if you want to have a venue where you can really step in, you really only have two options. Currently you can buy and hold cryptocurrencies, probably from brokers, from some deals that offer a premium So — or you can do some transactions, but only in dollars, euros or pounds. You can’t do it in your local currency.”
He went on to point out the importance of promoting mobility and access by giving people in the United Arab Emirates access to their local currency. The Middle East already accounts for about 7% of global crypto trading volume; Ting said this could increase by a factor of 10 once local currencies are available for financing and trading.
Meanwhile, Binance, whose size dwarfs Kraken’s, is taking steps to make Dubai, another major UAE city, a global cryptocurrency hub, having signed an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority last December.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owns BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.
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