Abu Dhabi, often hailed as the financial hub of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has once again demonstrated its forward-thinking attitude toward fintech.
It’s been officially confirmed that the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority has granted financial services permission to the cryptocurrency firm Rain.
Consequently, Rain now has the legal ability to offer brokerage and custody services to the Emirate’s residents. This critical development follows Binance, another crypto exchange, receiving a similar endorsement from the Abu Dhabi regulator in November 2022.
Rain Trading Limited (Rain ADGM) has been granted the first Financial Services Permission (FSP) by Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority to operate a virtual assets brokerage and custody service. pic.twitter.com/EyxCj4HbNy
— Rain (@rain) July 25, 2023
Joseph Dallago, Rain’s CEO, celebrated this milestone, emphasizing its five-year-long journey towards licensure. The firm, one of the earliest exchanges to seek licensure in 2018, can now serve UAE-based institutional and retail users. They’ll be empowered to buy, sell, trade, and store virtual assets through Rain’s platform.
Significantly, this endorsement sets the stage for Rain to provide virtual assets custody to professional clients, given they meet the conditions specified by the FSRA. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
With this permission, Rain can expand its service offerings and attract a more extensive customer base. It also allows Rain to list more virtual asset pairs that satisfy the Accepted Virtual Assets criteria outlined by the FSRA.
Safeguarding customers and bolstering trust
The approval comes with an essential promise of security for Rain’s users. Dallago noted the firm has teamed up with a regional bank to provide stable and secure services. They will be subject to the oversight of a local regulator and a well-established legal system at all times. This partnership is integral to their goal of upholding user protection.
What does this mean for customers? UAE residents will now be able to fund their accounts in minutes, thanks to a partnership with a local UAE bank. Furthermore, customers are further protected through the supervision of a local regulator and thorough legal framework.
— Joseph Dallago (@_jayd3e) July 25, 2023
Moreover, Rain’s endeavour to secure an IPA (and eventually an FSP) in the Middle Eastern region after Bahrain and Dubai illustrates the firm’s focus on regional expansion. The Abu Dhabi permit is the firm’s third approval in the Middle East, demonstrating Rain’s ambition to extend its regional services.
The journey so far and what’s next
This critical development in Rain’s trajectory did not happen overnight. Yehia Badawy, Rain’s co-founder, highlighted that the company initially engaged with regulators in 2018. The regulatory framework for virtual assets was released by the ADGM in the same year, underscoring its commitment to diversifying Abu Dhabi’s economy through innovation and sustainable initiatives.
Having now upgraded the in-principle approval from the ADGM’s FSRA in 2022 to a complete financial services permission, Rain is ready to tap into the region’s growing interest in cryptocurrencies. The company, founded in 2017, secured its first regulatory license in the Middle East in 2019. Now, it looks to leverage its regulatory permissions further to bolster its regional offerings and beyond.
In a statement, Rain CEO Joseph Dallago remarked;
We’re committed to becoming a market leader in the virtual assets industry, and with this license, we can provide an even higher degree of security and confidence to our consumers. In addition, Rain is the sole regulated gateway into and out of UAE dirhams for virtual assets.
Moving forward, Rain aims to widen its reach, strengthening its technological platform and growing its team. The achievement of this milestone represents a significant boost for Rain, as well as the broader virtual assets industry.
It adds another layer of trust and security for customers, solidifying Rain’s commitment to driving innovation and growth in the virtual assets space. Furthermore, this development underscores Abu Dhabi’s role as an international financial centre and facilitator for business growth while supporting the diversification of the Emirate’s economy.