Rain Becomes First Regulated Cryptocurrency Exchange in the Middle East

Samuel Haig

Rain.bh launched on July 31 of this year, and became the first Middle Eastern cryptocurrency exchange to obtain regulatory licensing to operate within the region. Alongside the launch, Rain also announced the closure of a seed round of $2.5 million.

The Bahrain-based cryptocurrency exchange received a Crypto-Asset Module (CRA) license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The licensing comprises the first instance in which a cryptocurrency exchange has been granted regulatory approval to operate within a Middle Eastern nation.

Rain Licensed Following Two-Year Regulatory Sandbox Program

Rain first contacted the CBB during February 2017. Shortly thereafter, the exchange became the first company to enter into the CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox Program, during which the company spent two years working closely with the regulator to provide policy recommendations from the perspective of the crypto industry.

Rain also announced the closure of a $2.5 million funding round, which was led by BitMEX Ventures and Kuwait-based crypto fund, Blockwater. The seed round also saw participation from regional entities Vision Ventures, Taibah Valley, and 500 Startups MENA, in addition to CMT Digital, Compound.finance, Cumberland Mining’ Mike Komarnsky, Aaron Lasher and Aaron Voisine of BRD, and Jimmy Song.

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and chief executive officer of BitMEX, stated: 

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.

BitMEX and Blockwater Lead Fundraising Round

In a blog post, Rain stated: “With this license, [Rain] has become the first encrypted currency trading platform in the Middle East to be fully licensed by a regulatory entity and join a limited range of internationally recognized platforms for currency trading.”

The exhcnage added that through licensing it demonstrated "commitment to the terms of the encrypted assets unit in terms of capital adequacy, cybersecurity, insurance, reporting, governance and other matters that ensure our readiness to provide our services to both institutional and individual clients.”

Rain was founded in 2016 by Yehia Badawy, Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson and Joseph Dallago.