UAE - Rakbank and Kraken Mena (Kraken), one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges, have announced that UAE residents will soon be able to trade virtual assets in AED using their local bank account.

As regulated by the Central Bank of UAE, Rakbank will enable Kraken, which is licensed by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), to have their UAE-based clients fund their crypto account through local fund transfers from any bank in the UAE.

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).

High foreign exchange costs

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 (more than 24 hours) and are subject to overseas-jurisdiction asset governance.

Through this innovative solution, UAE residents will be able to fund their account faster and at lesser costs, all while remaining within the UAE’s jurisdiction.

“We are proud to be the first UAE bank to enable Kraken, so that it can offer this solution to its UAE-resident crypto investors. This is another step towards our goal of making banking simpler and easier through innovation,” said Raheel Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of Rakbank.

“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.”

Global hub for virtual assets

“We are pleased to support the UAE’s vision of becoming a global hub for virtual assets. We believe this offering will enable a simpler, faster and cheaper solution for UAE residents,” added Ahmed.

“Kraken is one of the largest and most trusted virtual asset exchanges in the world,” said Benjamin Ampen, Managing Director for Kraken Mena. “Investors in the UAE will soon be able to directly participate and invest in the crypto market. Our solution is safer, more secure, more efficient and reduces costs. Alongside our partners at Rakbank and under the pioneering regulatory oversight of the ADGM, we are about to make our vision of AED-denominated crypto trading in the UAE a reality.”

Ahmed Jassim Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) said: "We congratulate Rakbank and Kraken on this successful partnership that showcases the thriving virtual asset ecosystem of Abu Dhabi and the trust that financial institutions have in the ADGM’s regulatory framework. Today, as an International Financial Centre, we are the leading jurisdiction in the region for the regulation of virtual asset activities and we strongly believe that this partnership is a step forward that confirms Abu Dhabi’s role as a catalyst for virtual-asset innovation."

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