US-based crypto exchange Coinbase is exploring the possibility of using the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as its hub for international services in the Middle East and surrounding regions. Coinbase’s VP of International & Business Development, Nana Murugesan, said in a tweet that the country has the potential to be a strategic hub for the exchange due to its location, large expatriate population, state of the economy, and other demographic qualities. The exchange’s CEO Brian Armstrong praised the UAE’s regulatory efforts in the crypto space, stating that the country has the “first dedicated crypto regulator in the world, a clear rule book published, business-friendly plus strong customer protections.”

UAE as a center for web3 innovation

In a blog post, Murugesan explained why Coinbase was considering expanding to the UAE. Murugesan stated that the UAE has become a center for web3 innovation and a “key hub in the Middle East, Africa, and India as we explore crypto use cases that are relevant for the broader region.” Due to the regulatory clarity on crypto and its location, Coinbase believes that the UAE is an ideal country for investment and serves as a strategic bridge between Asia and Europe – two of Coinbase’s existing focus international regions.

Working with regulators

Coinbase plans to register and license the Coinbase International Exchange in the UAE and is working with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) regulators to achieve this. The exchange is also in discussions with Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and aims to be licensed by the regulatory agency. VARA is currently working on a retail framework for crypto trading activities in the country. This move comes after recent regulatory troubles in the US have forced Coinbase to expand its services abroad. Earlier in the month, Coinbase launched an international derivatives exchange that is licensed by Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) and targeted at professional traders.


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