Kraken, one of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, has shuttered its Abu Dhabi headquarters less than a year after getting legal clearance to operate in the territory.
In addition, Kraken stopped providing support in Emirati dirhams. According to the statement, customers in the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Middle East will continue to be able to use Kraken’s other services. This information was gleaned from the company’s official announcement.
The rumored move in the Middle East came after Kraken said in November that it intended to reduce its personnel by more than 30 percent, or more than 1,000 individuals, in a bid to make it through the crypto winter.
According to Kraken founder Jesse Powell, the layoffs are bringing the size of the exchange back to where it was in 2021 before it experienced rapid expansion. Powell made the decision to stand down as CEO but will continue in his role as board chair, which he announced in September 2022.
In addition to the news about Kraken, Bloomberg reported in November that other UAE-based companies, such as BitOasis, have reduced their workforce in response to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX in the previous year. A significant number of crypto funds in the UAE have made substantial investments in FTX.
It is noteworthy that Emirati authorities continue to have a bullish outlook on the future of bitcoin in the UAE. At the World Economic Forum held one month ago, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence of the United Arab Emirates, Omar Sultan Al Olama, stated that the migration of cryptocurrency companies to the Emirates is a good thing.