Cryptocurrency believers in the Middle East will soon have a new local platform on which to buy, sell and store their digital tokens. Rain, a Bahrain-based cryptocurrency exchange, is gearing up for a launch in 2019, the company reported this month.
Rain was founded in 2016 by Yehia Badawy, Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson and Joseph Dallago, and is backed by investors including Breadwallet, Blockwater, JMBullion, CMT Capital Markets Trading and bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, according to a statement from the company.
“Rain will provide the GCC with a digital currency exchange that meets the highest international standards in terms of pricing, product, security and regulation,” the company’s founders said in the statement. Rain will allow users to trade in several digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin, using Bahraini dinars, Kuwaiti dinars, Saudi riyals, Emirati dirhams, Omani riyals and U.S. dollars.
Last year, Rain joined a regulatory sandbox established by Bahrain’s central bank that allows fintech firms to test and experiment with banking ideas in the country. Since joining the sandbox, Rain reports it has built relationships with banks and served an early group of customers in the region, while simultaneously building its applications.
Rain is also one of the companies working with Bahrain Fintech Bay, a facility that launched earlier this year to help accelerate fintech firms.
Rain isn’t the first cryptocurrency exchange in the region. A well-known local player is BitOasis, a Dubai-based wallet and exchange founded in 2014.