7 Middle East Crypto Exchanges That Support Local Currencies

7 Middle East Crypto Exchanges That Support Local Currencies

Last month marked 13 years since Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper was first released. In these 13 years, concerns around crypto have persisted — over its volatility, decentralisation and legitimacy. However, through crashes and bull runs, these unregulated currencies have found their place as an asset class to be seriously considered, as trading volumes at crypto exchanges show.

Meanwhile, retail trading has also picked pace, especially after the COVID 19 pandemic. Amateur home-based investors took to financial markets in a wave, on the back of tech-enabled trading platforms directly accessible from their personal devices. And alongside the usual mutual funds, stocks and ETFs, these investors have not shied away from considering crypto as part of their portfolios.

In the UAE, for instance, 1 in 4 individuals see crypto as an “exciting new opportunity.” In Bahrain, crypto exchange Rain saw trading volumes surpass US$1 billion in the first half of this year, whereas trading volumes at UAE crypto exchange BitOasis crossed US$3 billion.

As crypto investing picks pace in the Middle East, using local platforms provides two key advantages to traders and investors. First, it allows them to purchase crypto in their local currencies, beating any FX disadvantages. Secondly, being licensed locally provides investors with an added layer of security (although crypto trading remains an inherently risky activity).


Here are seven such crypto exchanges available in the Middle East.

Disclaimer: This list should not be considered as investment advice or an endorsement of these platforms.

Crypto exchanges in the Middle East

BitOasis

Headquarters: UAE
Supported currencies: AED, SAR
Approvals and licenses: Financial Services Permission (Abu Dhabi, UAE)


BitOasis is a UAE-headquartered crypto exchange. The platform raised US$30 million in a Series B round in October this year, for regional expansion as well as licensing and regulatory requirements. Users can trade over 20 cryptocurrencies and fiat pairs on BitOasis, in the UAE dirham and Saudi Riyal.

BitOasis has received a Financial Services Permission (FSP) from the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). The company is currently working on becoming fully operational as a virtual asset multilateral trading facility and custodian regulated by the FSRA. It is also registered with the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit’s reporting platform, GoAML.

CoinMENA

Headquarters: Bahrain
Supported currencies: BHD, AED, SAR, KWD, OMR, USD
Approvals and licenses: Virtual Asset Service Provider – Category 2 (Bahrain)


CoinMENA is a crypto exchange headquartered in Bahrain. The Sharia-compliant digital asset trading platform recently raised US$9.5 million in its first seed funding round for expansion across the MENA region.

CoinMENA is fully licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) as a digital asset operator. The company holds a Virtual Asset Service Provider – Category 2 license in Bahrain. The platform is currently supported in Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, for trading in local currencies in these countries. It also supports the US dollar.

Rain

Headquarters: Bahrain
Supported currencies: BHD, AED, SAR, KWD, OMR, USD, EUR
Approvals and licenses: Category 3 Crypto-Asset Service Provider (Bahrain)


Rain is a licensed crypto platform and custodian located in Bahrain. The platform is also accessible to users in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman, and also supports trades in the US Dollar and Euro. The platform has customers in over 50 countries, according to its website.

Rain is licensed as a crypto asset brokerage firm by the CBB. The company raised US$6 million in a Series A funding round in January this year for expansion across the Middle East. Global crypto exchange Coinbase was one of the participating investors in the round.

Matrix

Headquarters: UAE
Supported currencies: USD
Approvals and licenses: MTF and Custody (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Matrix is an Abu Dhabi-based crypto exchange. The company provides custodian services and allows trading and settlement of crypto trades in the US dollar. Matrix is regulated by Abu Dhabi’s FSRA as a multilateral trading facility and custodian.

The platform was launched in August this year as the first UAE-based crypto exchange to be licensed and regulated by the the FSRA.

NakitCoins

Headquarters: Turkey
Supported currencies: USD
Approvals and licenses: Information unavailable

nakitcoins
NakitCoins is a Turkish non-custodial crypto exchange that allows users to make crypto trades in the US dollar. Information about its licensing and regulation was not immediately apparent. NakitCoins offers crypto storage, exchange, and credit card purchase, as well as payment gateway services.

In addition to being a decentralised online exchange, NakitCoins also acts as a physical crypto exchange — they have four physical locations in Turkey that function as crypto exchanges. Users can buy and sell crypto for cash at these locations. According to its website, NakitCoins has 21,000 users.

EasyCoins

Headquarters: Oman
Supported currencies: OMR
Approvals and licenses: Information unavailable

easycoins

EasyCoins is a non-custodial crypto exchange based in Oman. The platform supports transactions in the Omani riyal. The exchange links to users’ personal wallets to complete buy and sell orders. EasyCoins also allows users to swap crypto through an external decentralised finance platform, UniSwap.

To use EasyCoins, users will need to have an unrestricted personal wallet as well as a personal bank account. Users can open multiple accounts on the platform, and each account is linked to a specific cryptocurrency and wallet receive address.

DigiDinar

Headquarters: Kuwait
Supported currencies: KWD
Approvals and licenses: Commercial Registration License (Kuwait)

digidinar

DigiDinar’s crypto exchange allows users to trade crypto, including the DigiDinar coin (DDR), DigiDinar Token (DDRT) and DigiDinar Stable Token (DDRST), using the Kuwaiti dinar. The platform’s orderbook matching engine can sustain 1,400,000 orders per second. DigiDinar is owned by Kuwaiti Coin Limited.

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