Middle Eastern crypto exchange Rain said its Abu Dhabi unit obtained a license to operate a virtual assets brokerage and custody service for clients in the United Arab Emirates, according to Reuters.
The Bahraini-based Rain, supported by Coinbase, added that its entity will now offer retail clients in the UAE the ability to buy, sell and store virtual assets.
Rain will also be able to open a bank account in the UAE, and allow clients in the country to fund their own accounts when using the local payment network, co-founder Yehia Badawy said to media reports.
Local asset managers have been hesitant to work with crypto firms without a domestic license, he continued, adding they will now feel more comfortable after it obtained regulatory approval.
“We can capture more demand from institutional investors using this license,” he said.
Rain was founded in 2017 by Badawy and three others, and backed by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and Coinbase Ventures.
It raised $110 million last year in a Series B funding round that valued the firm at $500 million. Rain, which has units registered in Bahrain and Turkey, said it would use the proceeds for regional expansion.
The UAE has been trying to attract some of the world’s biggest crypto firms. It has been quick to enable payments via cryptocurrencies in areas like real estate and school fees, spurring rates of adoption and transaction volumes.
It has also been trying to develop virtual asset regulation to attract new forms of business as economic competition heats up in the Gulf region, according to reporters.
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