BitMEX Backs First Fully Regulated Crypto Exchange in Bahrain
Bahrain-based digital asset exchange Rain has acquired a crypto-asset module (CRA) license from the Central Bank of Bahrain, according to a press release shared with The Daily Hodl.
Rain is one of the first licensed crypto-asset exchanges in the Middle East. It’s backed by investments from Kuwaiti crypto fund Blockwater and BitMEX Ventures, the venture capital arm of the leading crypto derivatives platform, Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange.
As noted in the release, Rain is live today for cryptocurrency traders after the exchange’s management received the Middle East’s first “full regulatory license” and closed a $2.5 million seed round co-led by BitMEX Ventures.
In early 2017, Rain’s representatives held discussions with senior members of Bahrain’s central bank regarding plans to launch a compliant digital asset exchange. Soon after the meeting, Rain entered the bank’s regulatory sandbox program, which involved creating appropriate guidelines for offering crypto trading services.
In addition to obtaining regulatory clearance and funding from BitMEX Ventures, the developers of Rain have received financial support from Vision Ventures, a Saudi Arabia-based early-stage investment firm. Taibah Valley and 500 Startups MENA also participated in Rain’s investment round.
Other notable investors that took part in Rain’s funding round include Cumberland Mining founder Mike Komarnsky, and Aaron Lasher and Aaron Voisine, the co-founders of BRD (previously known as Bread wallet).
Says BitMEX co-founder and CEO Arthur Hayes,
“BitMEX Ventures is devoted to encouraging greater global access to cryptocurrency trading as we start to see the maturation of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class… Rain has an unprecedented opportunity to tap into the incredible potential that cryptocurrency trading will bring to the region.”
Hayes adds that Rain will bring “greater diversification” to the Middle East’s financial industry with its regulated crypto exchange platform and experienced team members.
Rain was founded in 2016 by computer science graduate Abdullah Almoaiqel, former Abra employee AJ Nelson, Joseph Dallago and Yehia Badawy. The company is planning to expand its line of products and services, and will reportedly hire additional team members in order to support the platform’s ongoing growth and development.