Coinbase, the American crypto exchange, has sent its key executives to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore the possibility of the country as a strategic hub for its international operations. CEO Brian Armstrong and other members of the executive team are meeting with industry leaders and policymakers to discuss the potential of expanding into the region, including building an international hub that could serve the Middle East, parts of Africa, or other countries in Asia. Coinbase is working with regulators in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as part of these efforts.
Armstrong spoke about the potential of the UAE at the Dubai Fintech Summit on May 8, highlighting that the country is an exciting prospect for the crypto exchange to build its international hub. He also mentioned that the US is currently lagging behind in terms of regulatory clarity and some of the rhetoric from the top. This comes after Coinbase announced the launch of its global derivatives platform, the Coinbase International Exchange, on May 2, while potentially facing securities violations charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a blog post, Coinbase referred to the UAE as a leader in the development of a web3 ecosystem, making it an attractive location for investment. The post also mentioned the regulatory gap created by other notable jurisdictions and the UAE’s efforts to fill it. The country has been steadily opening up opportunities for crypto firms, with Dubai establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies and setting up the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority in March 2022.
Before the Wells notice, Coinbase officials had met with US policymakers to discuss crypto regulations in the country. The company had also met with SEC representatives more than 30 times over nine months, according to Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, with little feedback on its proposals. Despite this, Armstrong stated in a Q1 earnings call that he had no intention of moving operations outside the US.