Bahrain-based cryptocurrency exchange, Rain, announced today that it has acquired the Crypto-Asset Module (CRA) license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and has closed a seed round of $2.5MM USD. Rain is the first cryptocurrency exchange to earn a regulatory license in the Middle East and joins an elite group of exchanges internationally.

When Rain established contact with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in February 2017, the team met with some of the regulator’s senior members in an information session on cryptocurrency. Soon after, Rain became the first exchange to enter the CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox Program and worked closely with the regulator for the past two years to provide recommendations from the industry’s perspective.

Fueled by this recent licensure and institutional round of funding, Rain aims to deliver easier and more reliable access to cryptocurrency across the region. The round was co-lead by BitMEX Ventures and Kuwait-based cryptocurrency fund, Blockwater. Other regional participants include Vision Ventures, 500 Startups MENA, and Taibah Valley.

BitMEX Ventures, the investment arm of the world’s most advanced cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, builds and oversees a diverse investment portfolio of high-quality crypto and fintech companies with credible technology and innovative financial products complementary to BitMEX’s core businesses. With this investment, it intends to help Rain in its vision of creating a top international cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in the Middle East.

Arthur Hayes, BitMEX Co-Founder, and CEO said: “BitMEX Ventures is devoted to encouraging greater global access to cryptocurrency trading as we start to see the maturation of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class. As the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East, Rain has an unprecedented opportunity to tap into the incredible potential that cryptocurrency trading will bring to the region. We believe that Rain will bring greater diversification to Middle-Eastern traders with its exchange offering and experienced team, and we are thrilled to contribute to this defining moment.”

Rain also added cryptocurrency heavyweights Jimmy Song, Mike Komarnsky (founder of Cumberland Mining), Aaron Lasher and Aaron Voisine (co-founders of BRD, formerly Breadwallet), Compound.finance, CMT Digital (worldwide commodities trading firm headquartered in Chicago), and the founding team of JMBullion (largest precious metals brokerage in the United States) as investors.

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Rain plans on expanding the team to meet growing customer support and engineering needs, as well as invest in new technology. Rain was founded in 2016 by four entrepreneurs Yehia Badawy, Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson and Joseph Dallago.

Customers can open an account through the Rain website www.rain.bh, and the iOS or Android mobile app.

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