Crypto exchange Kraken closes Abu Dhabi office

Quick Take

  • Crypto exchange Kraken closed its Abu Dhabi office and laid off eight members of staff in the MENA region.
  • The move follows the exchange’s recent restructuring where the firm laid off around 30% of global staff.  

Crypto exchange Kraken is shutting its Abu Dhabi office and winding down support for the United Arab Emirates’s local currency.

"As part of a recent review, we have decided to suspend AED (dirham) support," a Kraken spokesperson said to The Block. "All clients, including in MENA and the UAE, will continue to be able to use all of Kraken’s other products and services as normal."

Bloomberg first reported the news. The publication noted that a registry for Abu Dhabi Global Market no longer showed an active entity in Kraken's name. The exchange received a crypto license in Abu Dhabi in April 2022.

Kraken recently laid off around 30% of its global workforce. The pullback in the MENA region impacted eight members of staff, a spokesperson said.

Benjamin Ampen, managing director for MENA, will stay with the exchange, according to Bloomberg.

"We have already notified impacted clients of this recent change, and our best-in-class client support teams continue to offer our services to ensure a smooth trading experience," a Kraken spokesperson said.

Both Kraken and Coinbase also shut down operations in Japan recently. Kraken is one several crypto exchanges implementing layoffs as a cost-cutting measure.

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