Kraken has become the second cryptocurrency exchange after Binance to gain regulatory approval to allow it to operate in the United Arab Emirates. Kraken is now licensed to operate in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial hub and free zone of Abu Dhabi.
After obtaining the crypto trading license, Kraken will now provide local investors to the global crypto market through dirham (AED) trading pairs, which marks a diversification of trading pairs to use local currencies instead of using the traditional British pound and the US dollar.
Integration with local banks in the UAE
With the new crypto trading license, Kraken intends to integrate with local payment service providers in Abu Dhabi; according to Kraken Managing Director Curtis Ting, this will help Kraken bring world-class liquidity to the UAE.
Dubai is particularly known for having a massive crypto following with a trading volume of over $25 billion per year.
Curtis Ting said:
“For us, it is really important to facilitate access to global markets and global liquidity by ensuring that investors and traders in the region have access to local currencies. [trading pair].”
Interest in crypto exchange in the Middle East
While Kraken only obtained its first crypto trading license in the Middle East, Binance, its competitor, has already obtained crypto trading licenses to operate in both Dubai and Bahrain.
Following the influx of regulated crypto exchanges in the Middle East, local businesses have also started to enter the crypto world. The Citizens School in Dubai, for example, has started accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as tuition payment, with crypto payments automatically converted into dirhams.