Californian Crypto Exchange Kraken gets license to operate in UAE


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The new Kraken license aims to provide access to global liquidity for local investors via dirham pairs.

Key points

  • Kraken becomes the first global assets exchange group in UAE to receive a full financial license from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
  • The new license opens new trading options for current and future Kraken crypto traders.
  • Abu Dhabi’s “progressive” stance on cryptocurrency is attracting top virtual asset service providers to secure licensing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Californian crypto exchange Kraken becomes the first global assets exchange group in UAE to operate in the Abu Dhabi international financial center and free zone, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). 

Kraken met all approval requirements to operate as a multilateral trading facility and has officially established its Middle East headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Curtis Ting Managing Director of Kraken stated in a CNBC interview, In global markets, it is important to diversify trading pairs to local currencies instead of using the traditionally available United States dollar or Great British pounds.

By obtaining an operating license in Abu Dhabi, Kraken hopes to strengthen its ties with local banks and payment providers. In Ting’s opinion, this will help the crypto exchange bring global-level liquidity to the United Arab Emirates region.

New trading option for traders

A UAE license means a new trading option for current and future Kraken exchange traders. Kraken will become the UAE’s first global virtual asset exchange group, allowing clients to invest, trade, withdraw, and deposit virtual assets directly in dirhams.

This will provide local currency access to Kraken’s more than 8 million worldwide users in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, expanding its goal of promoting access to global markets and liquidity.

Californian Crypto Exchange Kraken gets license to operate in UAE

The Middle East captivates top exchanges

According to a Chainalysis data analysis, the UAE accounts for 7% of global trading volumes, placing them third in the area by volume. As being one of the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets, the Middle East has gained the attention of a number of other exchanges aiming to take a more “progressive” and welcoming approach to cryptocurrency trading.

Binance, for example, has begun to establish a foothold in the Middle East, despite being one of the world’s largest exchanges by trading volume. In addition to Abu Dhabi, Binance has already bagged regulatory approvals from two more regions in the Middle East — Bahrain and Dubai.

Bybit was granted permission to open a new Dubai headquarters in March 2022, and FTX was granted a virtual asset provider license with plans to operate in the country. and BitOasis are two more exchanges that have plans to expand to the Middle East.

As regulated businesses have flooded the Middle East, local businesses have also started embracing cryptocurrencies. Citizens School in Dubai started receiving tuition fees between 45,000 AED to 65,000 AED in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).


Kraken has become the first worldwide virtual trading assets group to receive a full financial license, allowing clients access to new investment opportunities and global liquidity. Many major exchanges are expanding in the Middle East, which is increasingly known for its more progressive attitude toward cryptocurrencies and pro-regulation status.

With a growing number of crypto-friendly policies, the UAE has emerged as a promoter of digital assets in the Middle East. Binance and FTX have both acquired their operations licenses in Dubai lately. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi regulators are circulating draft guidelines that allow trading in non-fungible tokens.

The UAE is working efficiently to become a destination with clear, safety regulations for the digital asset business, while other major countries impose bans and strict limitations on crypto, and Europe and the United States tread cautiously.

Looking for how to earn income with crypto? Take a look at How to earn passive income with cryptocurrency exchanges.

Also read: Rising acceptance of cryptocurrencies: from Belarus to the New York Stock Exchange

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Mufasa is the lead writer at CryptoMufasa who likes to share all the latest info on the crypto world with you! Mufasa Enjoys enjoys a good read and recommendations so don't forget to comment on the posts and let him know.


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