We are happy to announce that Rain has acquired the Crypto-Asset Module (CRA) license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). Rain is the first crypto-asset brokerage to earn a regulatory license in the Middle East and joins an elite group of brokerages internationally. We are now serving customers at www.rain.bh.
In addition to the licensure, we are also pleased to announce that we have closed a seed round of $2.5MM .
Since our co-founders came together in 2016, it has always been our ambition to form a licensed crypto-asset brokerage. We recognized that the cryptocurrency space needed regulation to reach mass adoption and most importantly, keep customers safe. We further recognized that becoming a licensed financial institution was the only way to create a company that would last decades. With a focus on the region, we set out to work with regulators to create a legal framework around cryptocurrency. This achievement marks the end of a three-year long journey to become licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
The Central Bank of Bahrain has put an extraordinary amount of work into releasing a comprehensive set of regulatory standards called the Crypto-Asset Module. In doing so, the CBB has joined a group of progressive regulators, which includes the Financial Conduct Authority in London (FCA) and The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), to issue crypto-friendly legislation. This further demonstrates Bahrain’s dedication to being a financial hub in the region. By receiving the Crypto-Asset license, Rain has demonstrated that we comply with the module’s requirements around capital adequacy, cyber security, insurance, reporting, corporate governance, and a number of other factors that ensure that our company is prepared to serve institutional and retail customers.
By becoming a licensed brokerage, we are able to form more lasting relationships with our banking partners and payment processors. This has lead to more stable banking relationships, better pricing, lower fees, and more reliable deposit and withdrawal processes for our customers. We are very proud of this accomplishment as it leads to a more stable and safe service for cryptocurrency customers across the Middle East.
We were not alone in this pursuit. We have received an immense amount of support from the Bahraini ecosystem including the Bahrain Fintech Bay, Bahrain Development Bank, and the Economic Development Board. We are happy to represent the entire community with this achievement. We have also received support from our incredible group of investors. In particular, BitMEX (known as the world’s largest futures crypto-asset brokerage), Blockwater(Kuwait-based cryptocurrency fund), Vision Ventures, 500 Startups MENA, and Taibah Valley.
We are also backed by 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.
With a license secured and our initial seed capital raised, we believe that this is the foundation of a company that will last for decades. Rain will maintain focus on our mission to create a top international exchange and provide a way to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency in a regulated, secure, and compliant way. If you are interested in helping us achieve this mission, please send us an email with a cover letter at [email protected]. We are hiring.
We are pleased to announce today our successful Shari’a compliance certification completed by Shariyah Review Bureau (“SRB”). SRB is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain as a Shari’a Advisory firm authorized to issue Shari’a compliance certifications.
SRB has reviewed Rain’s brokerage service and has determined that the sale, purchase and custodian activities of Rain are in compliance with Shari’a principles.
Rain aims to deliver more value with a Shari’a compliant crypto-asset brokerage. The Shari’a certification covers a suite of three cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin). Rain expects to enable top-tier family offices, sophisticated investors and Islamic institutional investors to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency in a Shari’a compliant way.
Rain’s founders said in a joint statement: “This is a historic milestone in the cryptocurrency and Islamic markets. This is the implementation of Rain’s mission to provide the Middle East with a crypto-asset brokerage that meets the highest standards in terms of regulation, accessibility, security and trust. We are excited to open the Islamic markets to cryptocurrency with a Shari’a compliant exchange and a suite of cryptocurrency investment opportunities.”
We are committed to continuing to provide as much value to our customers and the industry as we can. Customers can find the Shari’a compliance issuance on the link attached.
We are pleased to announce the launch of Rain, the most regulated and secure crypto-asset brokerage in the Middle East.
Despite having a developed financial system and extremely tech savvy population, it is still very hard to obtain cryptocurrency in the Middle East. A combination of high fees and pricing, poor user experience, and a lack of clear regulatory standing have made it difficult for consumers and institutions alike to trade cryptocurrencies.
The Rain team was united by the belief that Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) will lead to a financial system that is fast, inexpensive, and accessible to everyone. We hail from the cryptocurrency industry having spent time at Abra, BitGulf, Bitquick, Digital Cotton, Glidera, and Kraken. In order for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to reach mainstream adoption, the industry needs brokerages all around the world to provide access to the network. Through our research, we found many companies serving this function around the world; however, it became clear the Middle East was underserved.
Over the last two years we have spoken with regulators, banks, and built Meetup communities in the Middle East to help legitimize this new technology. After conversations with many regional regulators, it was clear to us that the Kingdom of Bahrain is the best home for an early crypto-asset brokerage in the region. We began working closely with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), as well as other forward thinking institutions, such as the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Bahrain Fintech Bay (BFB). In September of 2017, we were invited to join the CBB’s regulatory sandbox. Rain was the very first crypto-asset brokerage to be admitted to the sandbox, a historic moment for the industry and one that we are very proud of.
Since our admission, Rain has been on an accelerated journey. We have secured multiple banking relationships with CBB-chartered banks, served an early cohort of customers from across the region, and built beautiful native applications (iOS, Android, web) for our customers to use.
We allow customers to buy and sell several fiat (BHD, KWD, SAR, AED, OMR, USD) and cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, LTC). In the near future we will be introducing Rain Desk, a specialized white-glove OTC service for family funds and institutional accounts across the Middle East. This will include custodial services.
The core of our mission is to create an internationally respected exchange in the Middle East, both in terms of security and pricing. Rain has bank grade security and is within 15–30 BIPS of the international market rate. Our transaction fee is 1.5% on our brokerage and will be 0.25% on our exchange.
Education is a key component of reaching mainstream adoption for cryptocurrencies. We have built an in-person Meetup presence in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and UAE focused on education. We provide a source of truth for our customers and give them comfort while navigating this new industry, whether in-person or through customer support, research desk publications, and more.
We are dedicated to Bitcoin and the industry built around cryptocurrencies. We believe this technology is going to change the world for the better, very soon. We would like to invite you to join us.
Rain will be making further announcements by 2019.