Australia-based Bitcoin startup Igot, announced on August 29 it had launched the first Bitcoin exchange in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Emirati exchange operates with a Commercial Brokerage License and is fully regulated by the local authorities. It said to have concluded partnerships with local banks for direct deposits and withdraws in UAE dirhams, and is also working with payment processors to enable more options for its customers.

Igot told CoinDesk it had hired a team for business development and customer support for its office located in Dubai.

Founder Rick Day stated that Igot's largest market was outside of Australia:

"Our strategy to expand igot is based on a pairing system. India is one of our best performing markets. In terms of trade volumes, I think we’re the biggest local exchange there. Indians sent $70bn home in 2012."

With UAE's workforce consisting of 60% of expat Indians, the company is targeting the diaspora who represent the country's largest overall group. UAE counts more than one million Indian expats, which amount to almost 11% of the country's total population. Along with the remittance market, Igot is targeting UAE's wealthy native population and institutional investors.

- Indian workers in Dubai, UAE

The exchange offers a flat 1% trading fee to its customers and is said to primarily aim regular customers rather than traders. Aside from its simple buy-sell interface, a new feature called "Future Trades" consisting in a series of advanced trading options was recently launched. Day said Igot had processed more than US$25m worth of trades since its launch in January.

Igot's headquarters are based in Adelaine, Australia, and this location was a well-thought decision. The company said it always had plans for international expansion, especially in Asia and the Middle East.

In June, the startup secured funding for global expansion from US entrepreneur and business angel Jesse Chenard.

According to experts, the Middle East is a promising region for Bitcoin businesses, and both Tel Aviv and Dubai are quickly emerging as regional Bitcoin hubs.

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