- Kraken adds Abu Dhabi to the list of branches it has shut down.
- The exchange decides to lay off workers due to the present crypto downtrend.
- How this affects the Abu Dhabi crypto market.
Since the year began, Abu Dhabi and the UAE have made clear their intentions to turn the gulf into a crypto hub, with an Abu Dhabi-based foundation, Venom, even going the long way to launch a one billion funding for the web 3 space.
In partnership with an investment management company, Iceberg capital, Venom ventures have the plan to allocate the funding for investments in crypto, blockchain services, and in the web 3 space in general, which would make the country even more conducive for a plan to build up a health crypto ecosystem.
However, one advantage of the gulf is that several crypto companies already have branches in Abu Dhabi, which boosts the plan to create a crypto hub. Still, with Kraken shutting down its department in the country, it could disrupt the plans as Kraken is a well-known Crypto platform.
Kraken decided to close down its office in Abu Dhabi less than a year after it received the proper licensing from the regulatory authorities to operate in the region. With the shutdown came the layoff of the company’s staff that had been focused on the Middle East and North Africa.
Kraken had received the approval license to offer services in the Abu Dhabi international financial center and in the global market around April of 2022, before the harsh downturn in the crypto market trend responsible for taking down several crypto firms.
A spokesperson for the exchange also confirmed the company’s shutdown in Abu Dhabi after they had reviewed the business lines. However, the existing Kraken users in the region would still have access to the platform using other fiat currencies.
This is not the first time Kraken has decided to cut off a percentage of its workers due to the current downturn in the crypto market. In November, the exchange cut off 30% of its workforce and decided to return to the size it had been in 2021 before it experienced rapid growth.
Around January end, the crypto exchange also pulled out of the Japanese market, which made it the second time the exchange decided to move out of the Asian ecosystem since 2018.
Representatives for Kraken said that the move was a way to increase resource allocation and used the current market and its weak conditions as an excuse. Still, the crypto space, in general, is currently inadequate.
The managing director for Kraken in the Middle East and North Africa, Benjamin Ampen, would also most likely move out of the MENA following the company’s shutdown.
This could shake the standing of the Abu Dhabi crypto space, but with the plans and funding that have sprouted from the country, it might not be a total disaster for them.