- Kraken announced that it is shutting down its Abu Dhabi headquarters after a month of acquiring a license.
- The decision to close the Middle East region comes after the exchange laid off 30% of its workforce in November 2022.
- A Kraken spokesperson shared that the decision to close comes after reviewing its “business lines.”
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced that it has shut down its headquarters in Abu Dhabi less than a year after obtaining legal clearance to do business in the area. Kraken closed its office in Abu Dhabi and let go of about eight members of the team responsible for the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA.
However, after reviewing its “business lines,” the exchange chose to close its office and stop supporting the dirham, or AED, according to a Kraken spokesperson who confirmed the closure.
The representative also reported that existing users in the area will still be able to use other fiat currencies to access the platform. Additionally, some staff will stay in the region, with the Kraken MENA managing director Benjamin Ampen probably departing after the change.
Kraken has decided to shut down Middle Eastern operations after previously laying off over 1,000 employees to survive the crypto winter.
According to Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell, the layoffs will revert the exchange to its pre-2021 size, when it rapidly expanded. Powell declared in September that he will retire as CEO but continue to serve as board chair.
As of January 31, Kraken also left Japan, signifying the exchange’s second exit from the significant Asian economy since April 2018. With reference to “current market conditions in Japan” and a “poor crypto market globally,” the company stated in December that the action was a part of resource allocation.
Prior to the market collapse that affected and bankrupted many crypto companies in April 2022, the exchange had been granted a license to provide services in both the Abu Dhabi Global Market and the international financial center of Abu Dhabi.