Dubai based blockchain start-up ArabianChain Technology has launched a cryptocurrency exchange – Palmex – created to enable its customers to buy, sell and trade digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, ArabianChain’s very own DubaiCoin, and many others.
The founder and CEO of ArabianChain, Mr. Mohammed Alsehli remarked, “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. 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.” He said, “The aim of Palmex is to deal with the users already in the market to make them trade in an easy way and also help attract new users ... and we do many awareness meetings in different countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia and also there will be others in Bahrain, Kuwait and in Egypt and Morocco.”
Mr. Alsehli also said that the Palmex platform would be asset-backed, which will allow its users to list their assets and use them in trading. The platform will offer for trading gratis until February 2018, and then charge a 0.3% trading fee on purchases and sales subsequently.
As far as taxation is concerned, it is still unclear if the cryptocurrencies traded will be subject to value added tax (VAT) recently implemented on a number of goods and services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. As of now, the trading platform has not filed for VAT registration. Alsehli said, “We need to check with the regulator.”
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency that employs encryption – by converting data to code to produce units of currency and validate transactions free of a regulatory body. It has taken the world economy by storm in the last decade. Palmex is not the first cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East, as there are others in Dubai and Cairo. The most renowned exchange, BitOasis, was founded in Dubai in 2016 by Ola Doudin, a Jordanian businessperson.