UAE: Residents will soon trade virtual assets in dirham

Investors in the Emirates will use their local bank account to conduct their business

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 18 Jul 2022, 4:36 PM

UAE’s RAKBank has tied up with Kraken, a global digital asset exchange, whereby UAE residents will be able to trade virtual assets in UAE dirham using their local bank account.

Kraken was the first global exchange to have received a full license to operate a regulated virtual asset exchange platform in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

Under the agreement, RAKBank will enable Kraken to have the UAE-based clients fund their crypto accounts through local fund transfers from any bank in the UAE.

Currently, UAE residents who trade virtual assets must use banks or foreign correspondents outside the UAE to fund their trading.

As a result, they incur high foreign exchange costs and fees, experience long lead times – sometimes more than 24 hours – and are subject to overseas-jurisdiction asset governance.

The UAE has attracted some of the world’s major digital asset companies including the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance as the country has been pushing to develop the virtual asset sector through a raft of regulation and reforms. Dubai earlier this year adopted its first law governing virtual assets and also established Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) as a regulator to oversee the sector.


“The UAE is emerging as a global hub for the crypto and virtual assets industry. With this breakthrough solution, Kraken’s UAE-based investors will be able to transact in virtual assets transparently and efficiently through an ADGM-regulated crypto exchange that has the ability to convert between AED and crypto through UAE Central Bank-regulated banking channels,” said Raheel Ahmed, CEO of RAKBank.

“We are about to make our vision of AED-denominated crypto trading in the UAE a reality,” said Benjamin Ampen, managing director for Kraken Mena.

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