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QCP Capital, a leading options trading desk for digital assets based in Singapore, has recently received initial approval to operate in Abu Dhabi, marking its expansion into the Middle East. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) granted the company in-principle approval, making QCP the first digital-asset market maker and broker dealer from Singapore to receive recognition in the region. QCP Capital generated nearly $60 billion in crypto derivatives trading volume last year, with plans to relocate some of its employees to Abu Dhabi once it obtains a full license. The CEO, Melvin Deng, praised Abu Dhabi’s forward-thinking regulators and strategic geographical location as key factors in the decision to expand into the region.

Deng highlighted the potential of the Middle East as a hub for capital flows, connecting Europe, Asia, and the Middle East region. With the monthly volume of crypto derivatives reaching $1.33 trillion globally as of September 2023, QCP aims to leverage the region’s capabilities to establish another marketplace. The company recently formed a partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Further Ventures to collaborate on developing new digital asset products. Once QCP receives the full license, its primary focus in the Middle East will be on core businesses such as trading and market making. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been actively attracting more cryptocurrency companies, successfully enticing operations from major players like Binance, OKX, Bitget, and Nomura’s Laser Digital.

Recently, Austrian crypto exchange Bitpanda announced its expansion into the Middle East by opening a regional office in the UAE and appointing Walid Benothman, formerly of 1inch Network, to lead its operations in the region. The UAE has expressed plans to use cryptocurrencies for trade in the future and establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for the industry. Thani Al-Zeyoudi, the country’s minister of state for foreign trade, indicated that the UAE is considering trading in currencies other than the US dollar, with cryptocurrencies playing a significant role in the country’s trade sector in the future. Al-Zeyoudi emphasized the importance of global governance in the cryptocurrency space and stated that the UAE is working on developing crypto-friendly policies while ensuring sufficient protections are in place.

The UAE government continues to focus on expanding its crypto regulatory regime to position the country as a major hub with favorable policies for cryptocurrency companies. With 72% of UAE residents investing in Bitcoin, the country is strategically positioning itself as a smart and forward-thinking nation in the digital asset industry. QCP Capital’s decision to expand into the region reflects the growing interest and investment opportunities available in the Middle East for cryptocurrency firms. By partnering with local entities and establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi, QCP aims to capitalize on the region’s potential as a key market for digital assets.

As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve globally, the Middle East, and specifically the UAE, is emerging as a promising market for crypto companies seeking growth opportunities. With a supportive regulatory environment and strategic initiatives to position the country as a leading hub for digital assets, the UAE is attracting significant investment and interest from major players in the industry. QCP Capital’s expansion into Abu Dhabi signifies a strategic move to tap into the region’s growing market trends and capitalize on the potential for further business growth and development in the Middle East.

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