Cryptocurrency markets have been active for years, but there are still a lot of “firsts” for the sector. Cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis may become the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the United Arab Emirates, according to Bloomberg.
Nothing is confirmed, as the exchange was granted “preliminary approval” last month by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market Authorities. This allows BitOasis to operate as a regulated cryptocurrency exchange and offer cryptocurrency wallets.
This is significant news for cryptocurrency investors and traders in the region, as BitOasis is easily one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the Middle East. The company was founded in 2014, and has handled $1.6 billion in trades over the past 24 months. The company has been expanding its user base, expanding to Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan in November of last year.
BitOasis enjoys popularity in Asia and Africa, as well. The CEO and founder, Ola Doudin, made the Arabian Business 40 and Under list, where she was recognized for her contributions. Doudin is a Jordanian entrepreneur, and purchased her first Bitcoin in 2013.
The company plans on meeting all necessary requirements before officially receiving the license. Doudin elaborated that this was a huge milestone because it gave new legitimacy to the company that didn’t previously exist. She stated:
“This is a huge milestone. It gives us legitimacy as well, and we can now work with regulated financial entities. We’re able to work with other regulators in the region, such as Saudi Arabia. Overall, it will boost our growth in the region, legitimize the space and expand our reach in the market.”
Doudin also pointed out that for BitOasis’ short-term strategy, the company was planning on focusing on Gulf Cooperation Council countries, with an emphasis on potential growth in Saudi Arabia.
This might be great news for the cryptocurrency markets, considering that the United Arab Emirates is the “largest wealth market in the Middle East”. The new legitimacy of BitOasis might persuade institutional investors to consider putting their funds in the space.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.