Economy 07-05-2024 12:02 15 Views

Austrian Firm Bitpanda Expands to UAE Hiring Former 1inch Exec to Lead Ops

Austrian crypto exchange Bitpanda is expanding its operations to the Middle East and opening a regional office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The firm has tapped former 1inch Network’s business development and head of growth Walid Benothman to lead its operations in the region.

In an announcement, Bitpanda said it will open its first office in Dubai at the DMCC Crypto Centre and has appointed an experienced team led by Benothman to tailor its offering to the local market.

Bitpanda is in the final stages of obtaining its Financial Services Permission (FSP) and said it will continue to work with regulators in the region to make sure it is fully compliant.

“The UAE is the ideal place for us to make our entry to the Middle Eastern market. It has the perfect mix of investor demand and innovative regulatory environment that will allow us to deliver the best trading solution available on the market,” said Eric Demuth, co-founder and CEO of Bitpanda, in a press release.

The UAE is the fintech unicorn’s first expansion outside of Europe due to the region’s “tech-friendly banking industry” and the country’s crypto-friendly regulatory environment.

Bitpanda BTS

The firm said it will be making its trading infrastructure business dubbed “Bitpanda Technology Solutions” (BTS) available in three months once Bitpanda MENA has finalised obtaining its local licence later this year.

Earlier this year, Austrian cooperative bank Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien (RLB NÖ-Wien) began allowing its clients to trade digital assets via their banking apps using Bitpanda infrastructure.

In April, German federal bank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg entered a crypto partnership with Bitpanda to offer crypto-asset custody services in the second half of 2024. Bitpanda said over the next few months it will work with the German bank to provide corporate clients with a regulated platform using its “investing-as-a-service” infrastructure for crypto-asset custody and procurement. 

Bitpanda was founded in 2014 in Austria by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek and Christian Trummer, achieving unicorn status in 2021. 

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