BitOasis strengthens GCC footprint with new regulatory approval in Bahrain

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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BitOasis regulatory approval in Bahrain
Rep.Image | Supplied

BitOasis, the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) leading regional cryptocurrency trading platform, has received a Category 2 Crypto-Asset Services License from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), paving the way for expanding its footprint in the GCC.

The landmark regulatory approval in Bahrain will enable BitOasis to launch its new broker-dealer platform through its local company in the Kingdom, BitOasis Bahrain. Located in Bahrain Fintech Bay, BitOasis Bahrain will be home to a small team of core employees at its inception, with the company gradually growing its presence in the Kingdom as it works to launch its new platform, expected to go live in the second half of 2024.

BitOasis Bahrain will serve retail, corporate, and institutional clients in Bahrain and the broader MENA region, with an initial focus on its broker-dealer product.

Ola Doudin_BitOasis new office in Bahrain
Ola Doudin
CEO & Co-Founder,

“With regulation at the forefront of a maturing regional crypto market, we are delighted to have secured this new license from the Central Bank of Bahrain. The Central Bank’s commitment and leadership in regulating our industry allows businesses like BitOasis to launch cutting-edge products in an industry characterized by rapidly and dynamically evolving technology. We are excited to welcome our new team in Bahrain to the business and to start serving new customers very soon.”

Securing the new license and launching its office in the Kingdom marks a significant step in BitOasis’ strategic expansion across the GCC. Driven by a forward-looking regulatory momentum, diverse economic conditions, and a young, tech-savvy population, the broader MENA market has shown remarkable dynamism and resilience in embracing virtual assets.

According to Chainalysis, the region was the fastest growing market in 2021-2022 with a total value of $566 billion received and continued to maintain a strong performance in 2022-2023, receiving a total of $389.8 billion despite the difficult market conditions.

This resilience, in part, has been driven by high levels of trust and an enduring interest of retail consumers in virtual assets, and the growing involvement of the professional and institutional market segment.

A YouGov report has placed the UAE as one of the top markets globally for trust in cryptocurrencies in 2022, with 40 percent of consumers saying they trusted virtual assets, compared to merely 14 percent in the USA, and 6 percent in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, a significant 67 percent of respondents in the UAE reported an interest in investing in cryptocurrencies.

Similarly, a global survey of professional investors conducted by Laser Digital in 2023 found that more than three-quarters of the regional investors were considering investing in digital assets, with 43 percent of the respondents estimating their clients’ exposure to the new asset class to fall between 5-10 percent over the next three years. The growing interest from both retail and professional investors will be complemented by a significant increase in the total financial wealth in the GCC, forecasted by the Boston Consulting Group to reach $3.5 trillion by 2027.

Launched in 2016, BitOasis has emerged as the go-to-platform for retail and institutional investors, as well as high-net-worth individuals across the GCC and the broader MENA region, to buy, sell, and hold over 60 tokens with fiat currencies such as AED, SAR, and USD. Since its inception, the company has processed over $6 billion in trading volume and raised more than $40 million in funding from leading regional and global investors.

BitOasis stands committed to its mission of offering its users a localized, safe, secure, reliable, and fully regulated virtual assets trading experience. In 2021, BitOasis became the first virtual assets trading platform to be registered with the United Arab Emirates Financial Intelligence Unit and was amongst the first companies to secure a provisional operating permit from Dubai’s VARA, after the regulator’s establishment in early 2022.

In 2023, BitOasis became the first virtual asset broker-dealer to secure an MVP Operational license from VARA and is currently in the process of applying for a full Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license with the regulator. The company has also had extensive collaboration with the UAE’s Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing in conducting the authority’s national risk assessment on virtual assets, and has recently announced a partnership with Dubai Police focused on awareness raising and knowledge sharing.

The company’s new license in Bahrain represents another testament to BitOasis’ longstanding commitment to compliance and proactive collaboration with regulators across the region, paving the way for a new era of growth and innovation for the platform.

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