• Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange, closes its office in Abu Dhabi and suspends support for the dirham, or AED.
• Kraken had been licensed to operate in the region since April 2022.
• The closure of the office comes after Kraken announced plans to cut its workforce by 30%.
Kraken Closes Abu Dhabi Office
Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange, has closed its office in Abu Dhabi less than 12 months after receiving regulatory approval to operate in the region. According to a Feb. 2 report from Bloomberg, Kraken shut down its Abu Dhabi office, laying off roughly eight people on the team focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Kraken had been licensed to offer services in the Abu Dhabi International Financial Center and Abu Dhabi Global Market since April 2022 — prior to the market downturn affecting many crypto firms. In a statement to Cointelegraph, a Kraken spokesperson confirmed the shutdown, saying that they had decided to close their office and suspend support for the dirham following a review of their „business lines“. Existing users in the region will still have access to their platform using other fiat currencies.
The reported move in the Middle East followed Kraken announcing in November it planned to cut its workforce by 30% — more than 1,000 people — as an effort to survive during this crypto winter. Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell described these layoffs as taking them back to their size in 2021 when they rapidly expanded. Powell also announced his plan of stepping down as CEO but staying on as board chair that same month.
Several employees will remain in MENA with regional managing director Benjamin Ampen likely leaving following this transition. However existing users will still be able access their platform using other fiat currencies when needed.
In conclusion, despite closing down its office and cutting jobs at Kraken’s headquarters due to market downturns across many crypto firms, users looking forward can still access their platform using other fiat currencies while some employees remain on staff with regional managing director Benjamin Ampen likely leaving following this transition