Coinbase is considering UAE for its international hub

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2 min readMay 18, 2023

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US-based crypto exchange Coinbase is considering using the United Arab Emirates as the hub for its international service in the Middle East and other nearby regions.

In a May 8 tweet, Coinbase’s VP of International & Business Development, Nana Murugesan, said the country has the potential to be a strategic hub for the exchange.

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The exchange’s CEO Brian Armstrong praised UAE’s progressive regulatory efforts in the crypto space. He said:

“[UAE has the] first dedicated crypto regulator in the world, a clear rule book published (!), business-friendly plus strong customer protections.”

Why Coinbase Wants to Expand to UAE

Murugesan explained why the exchange was thinking of expanding to UAE.

According to his post, UAE has become the center of 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 its location, large expatriate population, state of the economy, other demographic qualities, and regulatory clarity on crypto — Coinbase believes it is an ideal country for investment.

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“[UAE] serves as a particularly strategic bridge between Asia and Europe — two of our existing focus international regions to date.”

Murugesan wrote that Coinbase plans to register and license the Coinbase International Exchange in UAE and is working with the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) regulators to achieve this.

The exchange is also in discussion with Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and seeks to be licensed by the regulatory agency. VARA is currently working on a retail framework for crypto trading activities in the country.

Recent regulatory troubles in the United States have forced Coinbase to spread its tentacles abroad. Earlier in the month, it launched an international derivatives exchange targeted at professional traders. The exchange is licensed by Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).

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