Rain, a Middle Eastern cryptocurrency exchange, announced on Tuesday that its Abu Dhabi branch has been granted a licence to provide virtual asset brokerage and custody services to clients in the United Arab Emirates.

Rain, based in Bahrain and funded by Coinbase, said that its company in the Abu Dhabi Global Market financial freezone will now allow institutional and some retail clients in the UAE to buy, sell, and store virtual assets.

Rain will also be able to open a bank account in the UAE and allow clients to fund their own accounts when utilising the local payment network, according to co-founder Yehia Badawy in an interview on Tuesday.

“With this licence, we can capture more demand from institutional investors,” he said.

Rain was launched in 2017 by Badawy and three other individuals, with funding from Silicon Valley startup capital company Kleiner Perkins and Coinbase Ventures. Last year, it raised $110 million (approximately Rs. 900 crore) in a Series B fundraising round, valuing the company at $500 million (about Rs. 4,100 crore). Rain, which has units registered in Bahrain and Turkey, stated that the revenues would be used for regional expansion.

The UAE has been attempting to entice some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency enterprises. It has been fast to enable cryptocurrency payments in industries such as real estate and school fees, accelerating adoption and transaction volumes.
It has also been trying to develop virtual asset regulation to attract new forms of business as economic competition heats up in the Gulf region.

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