QCP Capital Secures Approval to Expand into Abu Dhabi, Strengthening Presence in the Middle East

QCP Capital, a prominent options trading desk for digital assets, has received initial approval to operate in Abu Dhabi, marking its expansion into the Middle East. 

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has granted in-principle approval to the company, making it the first digital-asset market maker and broker dealer from Singapore to receive such recognition in the region, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. 

QCP Capital plans to relocate a portion of its 70-plus employees to Abu Dhabi once it obtains a full license.

QCP Capital Recorded $60B in Crypto Derivatives in 2023

QCP Capital generated nearly $60 billion in crypto derivatives trading volume last year.

The company’s CEO, Melvin Deng, expressed enthusiasm about the forward-thinking regulators in Abu Dhabi, highlighting their friendly approach to digital assets and their integration with traditional finance. 

In an interview with Bloomberg, Deng explained that Abu Dhabi’s strategic geographical location played a significant role in QCP’s decision to expand into the region, considering the global nature of the cryptocurrency industry.

According to a report by Ernst & Young, the monthly volume of crypto derivatives reached $1.33 trillion as of September 2023, with the majority of activity occurring outside the United States.

Deng also emphasized the Middle East’s potential as a hub for capital flows, serving as a link between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East region.

Drawing parallels to QCP’s home base in Singapore, he stated that the company aims to leverage the region’s capabilities to establish another marketplace. 

QCP recently formed a partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Further Ventures, signaling its commitment to developing new digital asset products in collaboration with local entities.

Once QCP obtains the full license, its initial focus in the Middle East will be on core businesses such as trading and market making. 

UAE Continues to Attract Crypto Firms

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been actively working to attract more cryptocurrency companies, successfully enticing operations from major players like Binance, OKX, Bitget, and Nomura’s Laser Digital. 

UAE dominating in crypto with 72% into #Bitcoin! No surprise, smart moves from a smart nation. pic.twitter.com/Nr9mmlYMqQ

— fity.eth (@Fityeth) April 22, 2024

More recently, Austrian crypto exchange Bitpanda revealed it is expanding its operations to the Middle East and opening a regional office in the UAE.

The firm has tapped former 1inch Network’s business development and head of growth Walid Benothman to lead its operations in the region.

As reported, the UAE plans to use crypto for trade in the future and also set up a working regulatory framework, according to the country’s minister of state for foreign trade. 

Last year, Thani Al-Zeyoudi said the country is considering a trade in currencies other than the US dollar. 

One area the country is looking to expand is cryptocurrencies, he said, adding:

“Crypto will play a major role for UAE trade going forward. The most important thing is that we ensure global governance when it comes to cryptocurrencies and crypto companies.”

Al-Zeyoudi added that the UAE continues to work on its crypto regulatory regime. 

He said the focus will be on making the Gulf country a major hub with crypto-friendly policies that also have sufficient protections in place. 

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