Coinbase weighs UAE as potential international hub, CEO says

The UAE is “leading the way regionally in crypto, and could be a potential international hub,” Armstrong said at a panel at the Dubai FinTech Summit 2023.

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Crypto exchange Coinbase Global, at loggerheads with regulators in the US, is considering the United Arab Emirates to be an international hub.

“We are looking for a home to set up an international hub that could serve the long tail of countries in the world,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong told Bloomberg TV in an interview. The UAE is well positioned to expand and serve markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, he said.

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The UAE is “leading the way regionally in crypto, and could be a potential international hub,” Armstrong said at a panel at the Dubai FinTech Summit 2023.

The region serves as a “strategic bridge between Asia and Europe,” two of its existing focus areas, the company announced in a blog.

Armstrong has been vocal about the lack of clarity in current US crypto regulation, raising the possibility of relocating earlier in an escalation of the rhetoric. On Monday, Armstrong said Coinbase is not going to leave the US, an important market for the company.

Regulators in the UAE are ahead of the US, Armstrong said. “I would say that the UAE’s approach has been more forward thinking than the US,” he added.

Coinbase has been navigating a market downturn and a difficult US regulatory environment. The company, which cut staff by 20 percent in January, faces more uncertainty after receiving a notice from the US Securities and Exchange Commission in March threatening to sue it over several business lines.

A spate of crypto probes in the US has prompted companies to look toward financial hubs overseas, with jurisdictions like Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong raising their allure with crypto entrepreneurs and investors. Coinbase recently launched an international derivatives exchange with a license from Bermuda.

Read more: US-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini to open engineering hub in India

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