At the beginning of 2021, Bahrain saw its second crypto asset exchange launch with CoinMENA, which received a license from the central bank of Bahrain after meeting all the requirements. CoinMENA whose tagline, “is in the region for the region” already is present and serving Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and KSA. As a start to their campaign they are offering on their website the opportunity to start trading bitcoin with just 150 USD. UNLOCK spoke to Dina Saman, Chief Executive Officer of CoinMENA to learn more.
We asked Dina, who happens to be the first woman CEO to head a regulated crypto exchange, when would we see an official launch. According to Dina, ” We expect to launch mid February.” Given that one of the most important aspects of an exchange is liquidity we posed this question as well to Dina. Her reply, ” We are strongly positioned, as we have access to deep liquidity pools that ensure that we can execute and settle large trades for all crypto assets at all times. With regards to future investments into the company, this is part of our near term plan.”
As CoinMENA is not the first regulated exchange in Bahrain, and given that it will also be competing with international exchanges, differentiating itself will be key to its success. As per Dina CoinMena has a very strong and attractive proposition to both individual and institutional investors. As she explains, ” First our exchange is regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, one of the region’s most robust and respected regulators, which ensures that we operate under the strictest of regulations when it comes to corporate governance, compliance, client protection, security, and transparency.Secondly, we are licensed onshore. We enjoy stable banking relationships that ensure that we are able to service our clients in their local currency and with very attractive and competitive rates. Thirdly and this is a first in the region, we have been certified as Sharia-compliant by the Shariyah Review Bureau, which allows us to address a key need for a significant proportion of investors in the region. Finally we are collaborating with one of the world’s leading and most reputable custodians, ensuring that our clients’ crypto assets are protected at all times.”
CoinMena will focus on providing access to global leading crypto assets such as Bitcoin, and other well known cryptocurrencies.As Dina explains” Investors are able to deposit, trade, and withdraw crypto assets in their local currency to ensure both convenience and accessibility. CoinMENA also provides an “OTC Desk” that allows the facilitation of sizable transactions where investors will be provided with a dedicated relationship manager who will support every trade through to completion. At the moment, we are offering trading in five major crypto assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and BitcoinCash (BCH).”
Finally in terms of why Bahrain and how difficult was the journey, Dina states, ” The journey to getting licensed in the Kingdom of Bahrain has been a very enlightening and fruitful experience. We are extremely thankful to the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) for their continued support and guidance throughout, and even after the licensing process. We chose to establish our company and base our operations in Bahrain due to the CBB’s comprehensive and attractive crypto assets regulatory regime. Not only is this regulatory regime globally leading, but it is also onshore. Additionally, Bahrain is home to a welcoming, open, innovative, and forward-looking financial ecosystem.”
Another strong momentum for growth and success is the rise of Blockchain and cryptoassets. According to Dina, ” With the rise of blockchain and the increased appetite for crypto assets as an alternative asset class, crypto assets are being increasingly viewed as long-term and diversified investments that should be part of the most individual and institutional portfolios. For skilled and professional investors, trading crypto assets short-term can also be profitable. Through a highly regulated crypto assets exchange such as CoinMENA, investors would be able to invest in worthy and legitimate crypto assets that have been carefully selected and vetted.Additionally, its maximum security measures via globally leading custodians, such as BitGo, guarantee that users’ crypto-assets are protected both online and offline.”
Dina concludes, ” While we grow our buiness and the company, we will be looking to expand into different markets.”