Coinbase Looks To UAE As Global Crypto Hub

Facing regulatory pressure in the USA, Coinbase is reportedly setting its sights on the UAE.

Brian Armstrong, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange, told Bloomberg TV in an interview Monday (May 8) that the company is considering the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a possible 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,” Armstrong said.

In a blog entry on Sunday (May 7), the company wrote that the Middle East acts as a “strategic bridge” between its customer bases in Europe and Asia.    

According to Bloomberg, Armstrong says Coinbase still considers the U.S. an important market and has no plans to leave the country, despite his criticism of what he says is a lack of clarity on the country’s crypto regulation.

He told Bloomberg that the UAE’s approach has been more forward-thinking than the U.S.”

Read more: Coinbase Says It’s Ready For Litigation With SEC

The news comes days after Coinbase launched the Coinbase International Exchange, which lets institutional users in eligible jurisdictions outside of the U.S. trade perpetual futures.

“Building out a global perpetual futures exchange for digital assets will help support an updating of the financial system by making Coinbase’s trusted products and services more accessible to users of digital assets who live outside of the U.S.,” the company said on its blog.

“As more and more markets are moving forward with regulatory frameworks to become crypto hubs, we believe the moment is right to launch this international exchange.”

Armstrong had warned in April that crypto companies would start doing business in “offshore havens” if the U.S. and the United Kingdom don’t develop clear regulations.

“Anything is on the table, including relocating or whatever is necessary,” Armstrong said during an industry conference when former British Chancellor George Osbourne asked if the CEO could see Coinbase leaving the U.S.

“I think the U.S. has the potential to be an important market for crypto, but right now we are not seeing that regulatory clarity that we need,” he added. “I think in a number of years if we don’t see that regulatory clarity emerge in the U.S., we may have to consider investing more elsewhere in the world.”

Nevertheless, Coinbase has insisted on its blog entry that it was still committed to the U.S., despite what it called “regulation by enforcement which has led to a disappointing trend for crypto development” stateside.