By CCN.com: The United Arab Emirates has granted crypto exchange BitOasis a preliminary license which allows it to operate a digital asset wallet and a trading platform in the region.
According to Dubai-based BitOasis, this will make the firm Middle East’s first regulated bitcoin exchange. The preliminary license was granted by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority. This is one of the three independent authorities of UAE’s international financial center, the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
Per a Bloomberg report, in the past two years, BitOasis has handled trading volumes totaling approximately $1.6 billion. This makes it one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the Middle East. Currently, some of the cryptocurrencies that are available for trading on BitOasis include BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC and XLM. Others that are available for trading include ETC, BSV, XMR, XLM and ZEC.
According to BitOasis’ CEO and co-founder, Ola Doudin, a full license will be granted once certain operational and technical requirements are satisfied. The crypto exchange intends to fulfil this in the second half. Doudin has stated that the license will enhance the company’s growth prospects:
Overall, it will boost our growth in the region, legitimize the space and expand our reach in the market.
While this is just an interim license, Doudin had expressed confidence earlier in the year that BitOasis will be fully licensed before the close of 2019.
At the time, Doudin stated full regulation would assist the crypto exchange ‘go global from the UAE’. This would especially offer the firm a competitive advantage in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Last year in November, BitOasis opened trading to residents of two North African countries – Egypt and Morocco.
The choice of Dubai as the firm’s headquarters was based on the city’s growing importance as the region’s financial hub:
Dubai is the world’s emerging markets capital for trade and movement of goods, people and capital, and we want to be right at the center of that.
Since starting the crypto exchange in 2014, the Jordan-born and UK-educated Doudin has attracted seed funding from domestic and foreign investors. In 2016, for instance, BitOasis received an undisclosed amount in a fundraising round that featured the Barry Silbert-led Digital Currency Group, the parent company of Grayscale Investments.