Bahrain crypto exchange Rain secures MidEast’s first licence

Published: 31 July 2019 – 2:22 p.m.

By: Sam Bridge

Rain is the first cryptocurrency exchange to earn a regulatory licence in the region, closes $2.5 million funding round

Bahrain-based cryptocurrency exchange, Rain, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired a licence from the central bank and has closed a seed round of $2.5 million.

Rain is the first cryptocurrency exchange to earn a regulatory licence in the Middle East and joins an elite group of exchanges internationally, a statement said.

Rain, founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Yehia Badawy, Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson and Joseph Dallago, became the first exchange to enter the Bahrain Central Bank’s Regulatory Sandbox Program.

Fueled by this recent licensure and institutional round of funding, Rain said it aims to deliver easier and more reliable access to cryptocurrency across the region.
The round was co-lead by BitMex Ventures and Kuwait-based cryptocurrency fund, Blockwater. Other regional participants include Vision Ventures, 500 Startups MENA, and Taibah Valley.

Arthur Hayes, BitMex co-founder and CEO, said: “As the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East, Rain has an unprecedented opportunity to tap into the incredible potential that cryptocurrency trading will bring to the region.

“We believe that Rain will bring greater diversification to Middle-Eastern traders with its exchange offering and experienced team, and we are thrilled to contribute to this defining moment.”

Rain added that it has also added cryptocurrency heavyweights Jimmy Song, Mike Komarnsky, founder of Cumberland Mining, Aaron Lasher and Aaron Voisine, co-founders of BRD, formerly Breadwallet as investors.

The crypto exchange plans to expand its team to meet growing customer support and engineering needs, as well as invest in new technology.

In February, Rain announced its successful graduation from the Central Bank of Bahrain’s Regulatory Sandbox, becoming the first to do so. Rain also announced that it has passed a Shari’a compliance certification.

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