By Olga Kharif, Sidhartha Shukla and Ben Bartenstein
Dubai-based crypto exchange BitOasis raised a round of funding led by the Indian digital-asset platform CoinDCX.
Terms of the deal and valuation weren’t disclosed. Existing investors include Wamda Capital and Jump Capital, the company said.
Launched in 2016, BitOasis operates in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Between mid-2021 and mid-2022, the Middle East and North Africa region represented the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency market, according to researcher Chainalysis. Back in 2021, BitOasis raised $30 million in funding, according to the company.
BitOasis earlier this year said it received the first of Dubai’s “minimum viable product operational licenses,” allowing it to offer broker-dealer services for digital assets to qualified investors. The company was subsequently reprimanded by Dubai in July for failing to meet mandated conditions set forth by the local regulator.
The company has also been forced to downsize as a broader crypto-market downturn hurt digital-asset exchanges. BitOasis said it now has roughly 70 employees.
CoinDCX became India’s first crypto unicorn in 2021 after raising about $90 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion from investors led by Meta Platforms Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group. Policy makers in India continue to debate the status of digital currencies, and its central bank recently said it has “major concerns” about private virtual currencies.
In June, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force kept the UAE on its “gray list” of jurisdictions that don’t do enough to tackle illicit funds. While the FATF highlighted progress in a number of areas, it downgraded the Gulf state’s rating on new technologies, including crypto, to “partially compliant” with standards.