The United Arab Emirates is emerging as a global hub for cryptocurrency, says industry expert

The United Arab Emirates is emerging as a global cryptocurrency hub, said a senior official at Kraken, one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges.

In April this year, Kraken became the first global cryptocurrency exchange to receive a full license to operate a regulated virtual asset exchange platform on the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). Earlier this week, Kraken and RAKBank announced that UAE residents will soon be able to trade virtual assets in dirhams using their local bank accounts.

Benjamin Ampen, CEO of Kraken Mena, pointed out that cryptocurrency adoption in the UAE is growing rapidly.


“With Kraken, investors in the UAE and the wider MENA region will for the first time be able to participate and invest in the crypto market more safely, more securely, more efficiently and at a lower cost via a fiat dirham gateway.”

The United Arab Emirates is the third largest country in the world in terms of crypto adoption with 35% already owning some form of cryptocurrency, according to a Gemini survey.

“By being able to invest directly in crypto and fund and withdraw from their Kraken account directly in dirhams, regional investors and institutions can benefit from a frictionless trading experience and much wider access to the crypto market.”

According to Chainalysis’ The 2021 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, the Middle East received $271.7 billion in cryptocurrency between July 2020 and June 2021, representing 6.6% of global activity. The United Arab Emirates, with transactions of $25.5 billion, was in third place after Turkey and Lebanon.

Ampen noted that dirham-denominated trading would increase trading volume in the UAE.

“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency markets in the world. Customers in the UAE already use Kraken to trade over $1 billion in trading volume, and that without direct acceleration. Dirham trading pairs will allow Kraken to tap directly into the UAE’s liquid capital markets , creating a strong potential to see a significant increase in trading volume.”

Ampen said that ADGM, a robust financial services center, is an ideal and indispensable partner.

“Kraken was delighted to partner with ADGM, which has been instrumental in realizing our vision of bringing crypto-dirham trading to life in the UAE. The regulatory dynamic in the region has been very progressive, visionary and forward-looking, characterized by ADGM’s virtual assets.Framework, which continues to drive adoption and innovation in new technology-based investment strategies.We were privileged to receive such support and approval from them.

Ampen pointed out that progressive regulatory reform, legislative initiatives and technological innovation put the UAE in a strong position to lead the crypto market.

“The UAE crypto strategy is ambitious and compelling, but moving at high speed. By bringing a first to the region by allowing investors to access crypto trading directly in dirhams, we want to help increase activity, adoption, investment flows and awareness of status for the United Arab Emirates. United as a fast-growing global crypto market. »

Ampen added that Kraken wants to be a trusted partner in the UAE.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to accelerate cryptocurrency adoption in a region with such high potential. We are confident that our proposal aligns with national interests and can help support the region’s vision.”

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