‘Rain’ is Live – The Middle East’s First Licensed Crypto Exchange

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Bahrain-based cryptocurrency exchange, Rain, is now live since it has acquired the Crypto-Asset Module (CRA) license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and has closed a seed round of $2.5MM USD.

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Arthur Hayes, BitMEX Co-Founder and CEO, said:

“BitMEX Ventures is devoted to encouraging greater global access to cryptocurrency trading as we start to see the maturation of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class. 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.”

Rain also added cryptocurrency heavyweights Jimmy Song, Mike Komarnsky (founder of Cumberland Mining), Aaron Lasher and Aaron Voisine (co-founders of BRD, formerly Breadwallet), Compound.finance, CMT Digital (worldwide commodities trading firm headquartered in Chicago), and the founding team of JMBullion (largest precious metals brokerage in the United States) as investors. 

Rain is the first cryptocurrency exchange to earn a regulatory license in the Middle East and joins an elite group of exchanges internationally.

When Rain established contact with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in February 2017,  the team met with some of the regulator’s senior members in an information session on cryptocurrency. Soon after, Rain became the first exchange to enter the CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox Program and worked closely with the regulator for the past two years to provide recommendations from the industry’s perspective. 

Fueled by this recent licensure and institutional round of funding, Rain aims to deliver easier and more reliable access to cryptocurrency across the region. The round was co-lead by BitMEX Ventures and Kuwait-based cryptocurrency fund, Blockwater. Other regional participants include Vision Ventures, 500 Startups MENA, and Taibah Valley.

BitMEX Ventures, the investment arm of the world’s most advanced cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, builds and oversees a diverse investment portfolio of high-quality crypto and fin-tech companies with credible technology and innovative financial products complementary to BitMEX’s core businesses. With this investment, it intends to help Rain in its vision of creating a top international cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the Middle East. 

Rain plans on expanding the team to meet growing customer support and engineering needs, as well as invest in new technology. Rain was founded in 2016 by four entrepreneurs Yehia Badawy, Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson and Joseph Dallago. 

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p dir=”ltr”>Customers can open an account through the Rain website www.rain.bh, and the iOS or Android mobile app.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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