Coinbase eyes expansion, explores UAE as potential crypto hub

Coinbase CEO praised UAE's forward-thinking crypto regulations
Coinbase eyes expansion, explores UAE as potential crypto hub
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong meets UAE Minister of Economy H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri (Photo from Brian Armstrong)

Top executives from Coinbase, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange, are currently in the UAE to meet with industry leaders and policymakers after announcing the launch of its global derivatives platform.

Coinbase’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, and other executives are set to explore the possibility of the Gulf country becoming a strategic hub for the cryptocurrency exchange. The move follows a May 7 blog post in which Coinbase announced that it was working with regulators from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) to potentially expand into the region.

Read more: Bittrex in hot water: SEC files charges for illegal revenue

During the Dubai Fintech Summit which kicked off on May 8, Armstrong expressed his excitement about the potential of the UAE to become an international hub for Coinbase. He mentioned that it could serve not only the Middle East but also parts of Africa and other countries in Asia. Armstrong also commented that regulatory clarity in the US is currently lacking, and there is some ambiguity in the rhetoric from the top.

Additionally, Coinbase CEO touted the “forward thinking” crypto regulations in the UAE.

Armstrong took to Twitter to praise the UAE for its progressive stance on crypto, stating that the country deserves credit for being forward-thinking. He also highlighted that the UAE had established the world’s first dedicated crypto regulator, published a clear rule book, and created a business-friendly environment with strong customer protections.

Armstrong is currently on a tour while Coinbase is facing regulatory issues with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In March, the SEC sent a Wells Notice to Coinbase, alleging that its staking products were unregistered securities. Coinbase has warned the SEC against taking enforcement action, as it could harm the agency’s reputation due to a sudden change in its stance.

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