Don’t you think it’s somewhat baffling that despite being a leading FinTech hub, the Middle East doesn’t yet have a licensed cryptocurrency exchange to serve investors, traders, and crypto aficionados in the region? Well, maybe not for long as a group of tech entrepreneurs has teamed up with the aim to be the first cryptocurrency exchange in the Arabian Gulf to be licensed by a central bank and are already knee-deep into the project, which is currently undergoing the test-phase in the FinTech sandbox offered by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
Meet Rain, an up-and-coming crypto-trading platform designed to make it easier and more affordable for retail and institutional investors to invest in digital currencies. The company is based in Bahrain and plans to exit the CBB sandbox for a full-fledged launch in early 2019.
Tailor-made for Arab investors
Co-founded by Abdullah Almoaiqel (blockchain consultant), Yehia Badawy (business and technology consultant) along with serial tech entrepreneurs Joseph Dallago and AJ Nelson, Rain is currently awaiting a financial institution licensed by the CBB.
In a conversation with StartUp Bahrain, AJ Nelson cited four key aspects that make the company a superior alternative to the existing channels the region’s crypto investors are currently using:
- Reliability: Upon launch, Rain will be a licensed financial entity in Bahrain and it will operate under regulations set by the Bahraini governments.
- Security: Rain promises to store the majority of its crypto funds offline in a proprietary Cold Storage system. This, along with the company’s top-tier encryption and bank-grade security, makes Rain compatible with all CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) requirements.
- Superior currency support: Unlike most other crypto platforms, Rain will allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using GCC currencies. This feature is available for large-volume over-the-counter (OTC) trading too.
- Easier verification: Rain accepts local documents for verification and KYC. That makes it way more accommodating compared to most global exchanges that require users to submit official documents in English.
How does Rain work?
When asked about the standard modus operandi deployed by Rain across its offerings, AJ said: “A buyer would send a wire transfer to Rain’s bank, and then use their updated online balance to buy Bitcoins, upon which their Bitcoin (BTC) balance is updated. A seller may already have a BTC balance with Rain or could send Bitcoin to Rain through an external source. Once they have sold their Bitcoins they then receive the equivalent amount in their local fiat currency via bank transfer.”
Initially, the platform will offer three cryptocurrencies to users: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. However, the company says that it will expand its portfolio in a phased manner.
Rain is currently offering its services to an undisclosed number of clients from inside the CBB FinTech sandbox. While the company has not confirmed it explicitly, it is quite likely that the platform will open up for retail investors only after official launch.