Bitpanda eyes Middle East expansion with Dubai office

European cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda is expanding its reach both within Europe and internationally.

Bitpanda has extended its partnership with Austrian bank Raiffeisen to offer cryptocurrency buying options at 55 bank branches throughout Austria. This announcement comes shortly after Bitpanda revealed plans to open a new office in Dubai, marking its first venture outside of Europe and tapping into the burgeoning Middle Eastern crypto market.

The expanded partnership with Raiffeisen originally started in Vienna and has since seen a 10% adoption rate among new investors, primarily in major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Lukas Konrad, deputy CEO of Bitpanda, highlighted the positive impact of clear regulatory frameworks on cryptocurrency adoption. He pointed out that the European Union’s regulatory clarity, particularly through the Market in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regime set to be implemented this year, is significantly fostering crypto adoption.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is quickly becoming a leading hub for digital assets, largely due to the proactive stance of its Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). By establishing a clear regulatory environment, the UAE is attracting businesses like Bitpanda to expand their operations into the region.

Bitpanda decided in January to withdraw its services from the Netherlands after failing to receive regulatory approval. Despite having over 4 million users across Europe and holding 12 European licenses and registrations, Bitpanda is not registered with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the central bank of the Netherlands.

Bitpanda’s exit comes a few months after Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, ceased providing services to customers in the Netherlands, citing regulatory requirements imposed by the country’s central bank.

Earlier in 2023, Bitpanda divided into two separate companies. The company’s cryptocurrency exchange, Bitpanda Pro, has become an independent entity known as One Trading.

By splitting into two distinct companies, Bitpanda aims to further focus on the development and growth of its cryptocurrency exchange, Bitpanda Pro. This strategic move, accompanied by decent funding, is said to upgrade the capabilities and offerings of One Trading in the cryptocurrency market.