Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) announced Monday that cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has become “the first global virtual assets exchange group in the UAE to receive a full financial license from ADGM.”
Abu Dhabi Global Market is an international financial center and free zone in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is the largest regulated jurisdiction of virtual asset activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The regulator explained:
Kraken is the first global cryptocurrency exchange to receive a Financial Services Permission (FSP) license to operate a regulated virtual asset exchange platform in the ADGM to service the needs of the Middle East and North Africa region.
“Kraken has met all approval conditions from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM to operate as a Virtual Asset Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and Custodian in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE,” the announcement details.
Noting that Kraken has established its Middle East headquarters in ADGM, the regulator said:
Kraken will be the first global virtual assets exchange group in the UAE to offer investors the ability to invest, trade, withdraw and deposit virtual assets (bitcoin and ether) directly in local AED currency.
Earlier this month, the FSRA issued a discussion paper on decentralized finance (defi). In March, the regulator published a consultation paper proposing significant amendments to its capital markets framework, including in crypto assets.
The FSRA also awarded cryptocurrency exchange Binance in-principle approval this month “to operate as a broker-dealer in virtual assets.”