South Korean company Bithumb begins expansion in the Middle East with the launch of a licensed fiat-to-crypto exchange in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The firm announced on Tuesday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE-based company Nvelop to create a joint venture for this initiative, CoinDesk Korea reports. Nvelop was founded by an E11 investment fund from Abu Dhabi and Asia-based venture capital firm Trill Ventures Group to finance blockchain companies in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).
According to Bithumb, thanks to a new partnership, the company plans further expansion in the MENA countries, including such states as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Back in June last year, the Abu Dhabi Market Regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Global Market of Abu Dhabi, issued a regulatory framework under which cryptocurrency exchanges must be licensed and approved by the FSRA as cryptocurrency assets. The regulation also limits the types of cryptocurrency assets that can be used by firms.
FSRA plans to begin issuing cryptocurrency licenses under this scheme from the first half of this year, Bithumb said. In the case of approval from the regulator, the company’s crypto exchange in the UAE can start operating around mid-2019.
Despite the ongoing “cryptocurrency winter”, Bithumb is actively developing. Last week, the company launched an over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading platform, and in January it also became known that Bithumb is entering the US market through a reverse takeover deal.