UAE Emerges as Global Cryptocurrency Hub, Says Industry Expert

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

In April of 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, general manager of Kraken Mena, pointed out that cryptocurrency adoption in the UAE is growing rapidly.

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“Kraken allows investors in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Mena region to participate and invest in the crypto market through a fiat dirham gateway more safely, securely, efficiently and at a lower cost for the first time.”

According to a Gemini survey, the UAE is the third largest country in the world in terms of crypto adoption, with 35% already owning some form of cryptocurrency.

“By being able to invest directly in crypto and fund and withdraw their Kraken account directly in dirhams, regional investors and institutions can benefit from a smooth trading experience and much broader 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 third behind Turkey and Lebanon.

Ampen noted that dirham trading would increase trading volumes 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 transact over $1 billion in trading volume, without any immediate acceleration. Dirham trading pairs allow Kraken to directly tap into the UAE’s liquid capital markets, creating strong potential for significant increase in trading volume. »

According to Ampen, ADGM, a robust center for financial services, is an ideal and indispensable partner.

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

Ampen pointed out that progressive regulatory reform, legislative action 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 giving investors direct access to crypto trading in dirham, we aim to help increase activity, adoption, investment flows and awareness of the status of the Arab Emirates united as a rapidly emerging global crypto market. »

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

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

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