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Kraken obtains a license for crypto trading in the United Arab Emirates

Published by
Nonhlanhla P Dube

Kraken’s new operations license in Abu Dhabi aspires to provide local investors with access to global liquidity via dirham (AED) trading pairs.

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Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange based in California, is the second virtual asset platform, following Binance, to acquire a regulatory clearance to operate in Abu Dhabi’s international financial hub and free zone, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Kraken’s managing director Curtis Ting discusses the necessity of broadening trading pairs to local currencies rather than the usually available US dollar or British pounds in global markets in an interview with CNBC.

Kraken hopes to improve its integration with local banks and payment service providers with the new operational license in Abu Dhabi. Ting believes that this will assist the crypto exchange in bringing global-level liquidity to the United Arab Emirates market.

Ting noted that “the region is ready and they’ve been waiting for a regulated service like ours,” citing Dubai’s existing enormous trade volumes of up to $25 billion( R 392bn) in cryptocurrencies annually. While functioning as a fully legal cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken will provide local investors with United Arab Emirates dirham (AED) pairs:

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“It’s critical for us to ensure that investors and traders in the region have access to local currencies [trading pair] in order to facilitate access to global markets and global liquidity.”
In addition to Abu Dhabi, competitive cryptocurrency exchange Binance has already received regulatory clearance from two other Middle Eastern countries: Bahrain and Dubai.

Local firms have begun to enter the realm of cryptocurrencies, in addition to the influx of regulated businesses in the Middle East.

Citizens School in Dubai has begun taking tuition payments in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) (ranging from 45,000 AED to 65,000 AED) (R192k- 278k)(ETH). The cryptocurrency payments will be immediately converted into dirhams. The school’s founder, Dr Adil Alzarooni, stated:

“We are excited to see how youthful generations can help the UAE achieve its digital economy goals. As more individuals embrace the digital world, today’s children will become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and investors.”
The school is now accepting kids ages 3 to 11 and is scheduled to open in September 2022.

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Nonhlanhla P Dube

Nonhlanhla P Dube is a senior news reporter at Rateweb. Nonhlanhla is a student of International Relations at the University of South Africa. She reports primarily on personal finance and economics. You can contact her directly by email at

Published by
Nonhlanhla P Dube