Rain upgrades UAE license to offer crypto custody
Cryptocurrency exchange Rain has upgraded the in-principle approval it obtained from the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (the FSRA) in 2022. The Bahrain-headquartered firm today received a Financial Services Permission (FSP) at the international financial centre of the UAE’s capital.
The FSP approval will enable Rain to provide custody to professional clients, provided they meet the conditions outlined by FSRA. As such, the milestone helps broaden the perspectives and business appraisal of the brand as it seeks to cash in on the region’s interest in cryptocurrencies.
Before that, Rain was granted an “in-principle” decision, which was the first stage of the full authorization process whereby the applicant needs to satisfy ADGM on one or more requirements. The initial licence allowed the crypto platform to operate as a broker-dealer in digital assets.
As Rain has satisfied all IPA conditions and receives its Financial Services Permission (FSP), it will be able to offer its services to customers outside the GCC region, as well as the currently-serviced GCC region. In addition to servicing a broader range of customers, the FSP from the ADGM FSRA will enable Rain to list a greater number of virtual asset pairs provided they meet the Accepted Virtual Assets criteria set out by the FSRA.
Abu Dhabi has one of the most sophisticated regulatory frameworks for digital assets providing clarity for entrepreneurs and their customers. In terms of the fintech landscape in the Middle East, the UAE in particular is already showing strong signs of support for fintech, as well as some early success stories.
While continuing to focus on regional expansion, Rain’s pursuit of an IPA (and eventual FSP) is its third approval in the Middle Eastern region after Bahrain and Dubai, the second biggest city in the UAE after Abu Dhabi.
Founded in 2017 by Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson, Joseph Dallago, and Yehia Badawy, Rain became the first cryptocurrency exchange to secure a regulatory licence in the Middle East in 2019. The platform allows users in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and beyond to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies through its web and mobile-based portal.
Having earned its license from the Central Bank of Bahrain, Rain Financial also in talks with regulators in the Middle East to widen its reach. The exchange, which also operates as a crypto-asset broker, plans to use the fresh capital injection for a regional expansion and to grow its team, as well as strengthening its technological platform.
In January 2022, Rain secured its UAE in-principle approval for a financial services permission (FSP). A week before that, the exchange raised $110 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Coinbase, San Francisco-based investment fund Paradigm and Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins.