dubai city with a coinbase logo
dubai city with a coinbase logo
dubai city with a coinbase logo

Coinbase Visits UAE as a Possible Hub for International Operations

BKMT Staff

May 8, 2023

Crypto & Blockchain

After announcing the release of its global derivatives platform, Coinbase, a crypto exchange based in the United States, is now in talks with industry leaders and policymakers in the United Arab Emirates.

In a blog post on May 7th, Coinbase's CEO Brian Armstrong and several of the company's executives intend to explore the possibility of the UAE becoming a vital hub for the crypto exchange. Coinbase has reportedly been collaborating with regulators at Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, as it considers expanding its presence in the region.

On May 8th, at the Dubai Fintech Summit, Armstrong stated, "[The UAE is] exciting for us as a potential hub to build as well, an international hub for Coinbase that could serve not only in the Middle East but parts of Africa or other countries in Asia. I think the U.S. right now is a little bit behind in terms of regulatory clarity and some of the rhetoric from the top."

The UAE has been actively incentivizing crypto firms to attract capital and generate employment opportunities. In March 2022, Dubai set up the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority and established a legal framework for cryptocurrencies, leveraging the Emirates' free-trade zones that have distinct rules and regulations.

According to Coinbase's recent blog post: “The region is standing-out as a leader in the development of a web3 ecosystem, making it an attractive location to consider investing in. The vacuum created by other notable jurisdictions means that international counterparts, such as the UAE, are racing to fill the regulatory gap.”

Brian Armstrong and Coinbase representatives had engaged with US policymakers to deliberate on crypto regulations within the country. Paul Grewal, the company's Chief Legal Officer, stated that the firm had had over 30 meetings with SEC representatives over nine months. However, they received little feedback on their proposals.