BitOasis is set to become the first regulated bitcoin exchange in the entire Arab world following preliminary approval from regulators in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bloomberg reports May 12, 2019. In recent times, the region has begun to pursue an increased adoption agenda for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a way of attracting more business to the Middle East.
BitOasis Gets Regulatory Nod From UAE
According to Bloomberg, the Abu Dhabi Global Market Authorities recently granted preliminary regulatory approval to BitOasis – a bitcoin exchange based in the UAE. This approval allows the platform to offer cryptocurrency exchange and wallet services.
If bumped up to full approval, the platform established in 2014 will become the first legally recognized cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East. The platform says it has seen a turnover of more than $1.6 billion in trades over the last two years.
Commenting on the development, Ola Doudin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BitOasis, said:
“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.”
For Doudin, becoming licensed is only a fraction of the company’s future plans moving forward. Speaking to Bloomberg, the BitOasis CEO said the platform is eyeing an expansion into Saudi Arabia as the bitcoin scene in the Mideast begins to develop.
This development also means that the UAE is one of the few jurisdictions that is looking to establish a more regulated cryptocurrency exchange space. Back in 2017, Japan via it’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) became the first jurisdiction to introduce licensing requirements for bitcoin exchange platforms.
Increased Bitcoin Adoption in the Mideast
With North and Southeast Asia continuing to lead the way in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology adoption, countries in the Middle East are beginning to step up their efforts to take advantage of the potential business opportunities in the emerging digital landscape.
The region did experience some stagnation concerning adopting bitcoin and virtual currencies in general following concerns over whether the tokenomics of digital currencies were in accordance with Islamic banking principles.
As previously reported by BTCManager, regulators in Bahrain have already introduced laws to guide the cryptocurrency industry in the country. The country’s central bank even established a regulatory sandbox for blockchain-based startups earlier in 2019.