Dubai-based blockchain start-up ArabianChain has launched a new digital asset exchange designed to make it possible for investors to buy, sell, and trade various cryptocurrencies online.
The new platform, Palmex, enables users to deposit and trade coins including ArabianChain’s DubaiCoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and several others, with more expected to be added in the future. There are no registration fees, but users will be charged “low competitive fees” to deposit, withdraw and trade.
“The demand to trade and issue digital assets has grown exponentially with the phenomenal surge in valuation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the rapid evolution of blockchain technology,” said ArabianChain founder and CEO Mohammed Alsehli. “The regional market is ripe and hungry for a user-friendly platform that makes it possible for them to buy and sell in a secure environment.”
Speaking to media on the sidelines of the UNLOCK blockchain forum in Dubai on Monday, Alsehli said that ArabianChain “is working on a couple of options to allow uninterrupted cash deposits into the system”, in addition to allowing the peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies.
“This hopefully will be completed in two weeks,” he said. “With that, we’ll have the full platform running at full capacity with everyone doing their trading of their preferred cryptocurrencies.”
Alsehli said that the platform will have zero trading fees for about two weeks, after which time a free structure will be implemented.
Additionally, Alsehli said that many Middle East-based investors may prefer to use a local cryptocurrency exchange, rather than one based in countries such as the United States or Europe.
“It’s usually a case of convenience, especially when we talk about fiat currencies involved,” he said. “When you want to deposit cash, for example to Switzerland rather a system that exists here in the region, it’s way easier [to deposit in a local exchange].”
“If you’re based in the UAE, it’s just a matter a day or so…or a couple of hours,” he said. ‘You have a legal entity in the region you can actually reach and approach, a company and face that you know. It adds an element of trust.”
Alsehli also noted that many foreign-based exchanged, such as the US-based CoinBase, don’t allow people based outside of certain geographic areas to trade on their platforms.
When asked whether value-added tax (VAT) would apply to cryptocurrencies being traded on the platform, Alsehli said that “nobody knows.”
“The discussion of whether [cryptocurrencies] are a currency or a commodity are still going on,” he said. “But the other part is that it’s a service, and now they’re saying that all services fall under the tax.”
“But for now we didn’t apply that into it,” he said. “We need to check with the regulator.”
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