Case Studies
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How Open Banking can accelerate Crypto Adoption in the Middle East

Published on
April 17, 2023
Updated on
May 16, 2023
Razza Ahmed
Marketing and Product Marketing Lead
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Case Studies

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The Middle East is one of the fastest growing crypto markets in the world, making up 7% of the global trading volumes, according to Chainanalysis. But what’s getting in the way of accelerated crypto adoption in the region? One of the hurdles are the outdated banking rails and card fees that govern the crypto buying experience, specifically the on ramp process. Open Banking is the technology that can make the experience faster, easier, and secure for all end-users of major crypto exchanges.

UAE - A Global Crypto Hub

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is positioning itself as a leading global hub for cryptocurrency and has made impressive strides as the fifth largest cryptocurrency market in the MENA region. The country's progressive regulatory ecosystem for virtual asset providers is one of the most forward-looking in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa regions.

As part of its efforts to promote and regulate virtual assets, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority was established. The Authority has been instrumental in shaping the regulatory framework for crypto businesses and promoting a favorable environment for their growth and innovation.

Hurdles & Challenges of Crypto Adoption  

According to YouGov data, it was reported that 67 percent of UAE consumers are interested in investing in crypto, while 33 percent of them have already invested in cryptocurrencies. Despite the high level of interest, there are a few challenges getting in the way of accelerating crypto adoption among UAE consumers.  

Traditionally, when consumers have wanted to start their crypto journey, the experience has been complicated and disjointed. Most crypto exchanges still operate on traditional bank payment rails, which accept cards or manual bank transfers. This phenomenon means that funds often take days to settle, there are higher fees associated with these transactions, and lengthy processing times can affect cryptocurrency price changes making it difficult for consumers to ‘time the market’. Most importantly, such transactions are also prone to fraud and errors, which have turned away consumers from crypto trading. These difficulties that consumers face while using crypto platforms result in reduced trust and a feeling of insecurity towards the industry.

Faster, Easier, Securer way to trade in Crypto 

BitOasis is the region’s go-to platform for first-time cryptocurrency buyers and professional traders. Given the challenges of crypto adoption in the ecosystem, BitOasis joined forces with Lean to use Open Banking to unlock new features that improved end-users’ on-ramp experience. It uses Open Banking technology to allow its UAE customers to link their bank accounts on the BitOasis platform instantly, making it possible to turn fiat currency into crypto with ease and efficiency. The company has recorded over USD 4 Billion in trading volume to date.

By facilitating crypto trading, providing better access to financial services, fostering innovation, and increasing transparency and security, Open Banking has phenomenal potential to accelerate crypto adoption in the UAE. Individuals and businesses can link their bank accounts with crypto exchanges and initiate transactions seamlessly. It removes the need for traditional and costly payment rails such as manual bank transfers or card payments.

Open Banking has made it easier for people to trade cryptocurrencies, and its growing adoption in the region will lead to more financial institutions and fintech startups leveraging blockchain technology to create tailored solutions for customers.

Download the case study here.

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