Coinbase Executives Engage UAE Lawmakers Amid US Regulatory Crackdown


  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong hailed legislators in the United Arab Emirates for developing reasonable guidelines for crypto businesses and policies to protect users.
  • Indeed the UAE was one of the first jurisdictions to establish a dedicated body for crypto oversight and publish a rulebook for the nascent industry.
  • Armstrong’s remarks come as his crypto company explores off-shore locations due to the souring regulatory landscape in America.

A Coinbase executive team and its CEO Brian Armstrong are in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to engage local regulators on crypto policies as the company expands to offshore jurisdictions. 

The visit to the UAE, particularly to meet with policymakers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, comes amid souring relations with regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange, and effort to establish operations outside America’s borders.

Dubai’s Crypto Allure

In March of 2022, the UAE Prime Minister declared his intention to establish the UAE as a key player in the future of crypto. The region’s crypto ecosystem has since gained significant growth, welcoming industry players like Binance and Kraken.

Last year, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority was formed to issue a crypto regulatory framework, laying out a concrete licensing regime for crypto service providers. Last month, the registration authority of ADGM issued a consultation paper to explain the proposed Distributed Ledger Technology Foundations Regulations 2023.   

Coinbase’s UAE Strategy

Armstrong admired the UAE for its proactive and progressive regulatory approach to crypto in a tweet, saying the region “deserves a lot of credit for being forward thinking on crypto”.

‘There is no doubt that UAE has the potential to be a strategic hub for Coinbase, amplifying our efforts across the world, and this week we are delighted to be on the ground in Dubai and Abu Dhabi meeting key local stakeholders and commending in person the role they have played in creating such a welcoming environment.

CEO Armstrong will provide a keynote address at the inaugural Dubai Fintech Summit while Coinbase is also working with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) regulators to further expand the licensing and availability for Coinbase International Exchange.

Coinbase has also been engaging with Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), a dedicated regulator for virtual assets, as they put forward a comprehensive retail framework built on the principles of economic sustainability and cross-border financial security.  “This expands our global footprint, helping get us closer to bringing 1 billion users to crypto,” Brain said.  

When asked to comment on the regulatory clampdown from the U.S., the exchange’s CEO said Coinbase is “100% committed to the U.S.”