ARP digital assets platform gets Bahrain crypto license

Apr 05, 2024
ARP Digital, a digital asset servicing company, along with its former partner Goldman Sachs, has obtained a license from the Central Bank of Bahrain to provide cryptocurrency trading, custodial services, and portfolio management in the Middle Eastern country.

Over the weekend, the company secured a Category 3 license and currently stands as the sole provider of over-the-counter (OTC) services specializing in structured products regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Structured products are a popular instrument in the traditional finance world, catering to investors in need of customized investment products.

Headquartered in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the company has stated that its products meet the needs of institutional investors and investors worldwide. ARP Digital will offer services to investors engaged in both traditional finance and cryptocurrencies.

In a press release, the company stated that it is developing both off-the-shelf and customized investment solutions to accommodate a wide range of market perspectives. Furthermore, ARP Digital aims to be inclusive to a broad spectrum of clients by providing multiple delivery and settlement options.

The management team includes co-founder Yusuf Alireza, who spent 20 years at Goldman Sachs and was the first Arab partner in the firm’s Wall Street history. Other co-founders, Abdullah Kanoo and Abdulaziz Kanoo, were former regional directors at the crypto trading company Amber Group in the MENA region.

The structured product industry in the digital asset market has not captured as much market share as traditional finance. Nevertheless, demand from experienced investors for such financial products is growing, especially after the approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Bahrain has quickly emerged as a crypto hub in the Middle East and North Africa region with its well-regulated ecosystem for both local and foreign companies dealing with digital assets. According to Alireza, the region is benefiting from the growth and adoption of digital assets and is evolving into a global center. Over the past two decades, there has been no such scale of technological advancement in the financial services sector.