UAE Issues Crypto License To Kraken


  • Kraken gained approval to operate in the United Arab Emirates
  • The heavyweight exchange bagged the license from Abu Dhabi authorities
  • Kraken can now offer virtual asset trading facilities to local investors
  • Also, the exchange will provide trading pairs in the local currency – Dirhams
  • Other exchanges like FTX and Binance have also received approval to do business in the Emirates

Major cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has received the regulatory green light from regulators in the United Arab Emirates to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP).

According to a report published by Bloomberg, the US-based digital currency platform can now do business in Abu Dhabi and offer its services to local investors across the Emirates. The heavyweight exchange also expects to open a regional headquarters in the Emirati state soon.

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The fourth-largest exchange by trading volume with over 6 million users in more than 190 countries will also offer trading pairs featuring the UAE’s local currency – Dirhams (AED).

Kraken’s Managing Director Curtis Ting opined that AED trading pair options represent a key step geared towards driving access to liquidity and linking traditional domestic banking institutions with crypto-assets.

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During a recent interview with CNBC, Ting said:

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 [trading pair].

The platform’s AED feature will allow investors to facilitate trades, deposits, and withdrawals denominated in the Emirates’ local fiat currency, per comments from Ting.

Regarding a timeline for Kraken to kick off operations in the UAE, the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi’s Global Market’s Registration Authority, Dhaher bin Dhaher said investors can expect business to begin by Q2 or Q3 2022.

UAE Becoming A Crypto Paradise

Kraken is the first exchange to bag a license in Abu Dhabi and the latest virtual asset firm to receive approval thanks to the UAE’s recent crypto licensing policy.

Major platforms like Binance and FTX also bagged digital asset licenses from Emirati authorities with plans to establish regional offices as well.

India’s largest digital currency exchange WaziriX could also relocate to Dubai following India’s recent tax regime. Authorities reportedly implemented a heavy 30% tax on crypto transactions on April 1.

The Gulf region has emerged as a hub for innovation and crypto industry expansion in recent months. Cities like Dubai have established dedicated market supervisors like the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) in a bid to oversee the industry and drive innovation.


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