Bahrain is Eyeing at Becoming Middle East Pioneer in Blockchain
Bahrain wants to become a pioneer in the burgeoning fintech space according to Economic Development Board of Bahrain chief.
Bahrain, one of the major oil-producing country in UAE, is turning to digital currencies as part of their financial structure. According to Khalid Al Rumaihi, the chief executive of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain, the adoption of digital currencies in the system of Bahrain had been suggested over time through the finance ministry of the country.
This has lead to a conclusion of the issuance of "bonds on a digital currency."
Become pioneer of the growing cryptocurrency industry
Bahrain wants to become a pioneer in the burgeoning fintech space and according to Rumaihi, national adoption of Blockchain technology will be a key enabler of this.
Rumaihi stated that Bahrain is "open to Bitcoin" in response to a query made at the MIT Innovation Forum last Wednesday in the country's capital city Manama. Adding to being open to cryptocurrencies and their potential in the country a regulatory sandbox is a key to allow the experimentation in a controlled environment like the island country.
Furthermore, the Bahrain Central Bank recently put in place a regulatory sandbox. Four companies applied so far, and two had already received approval. Rumaihi said at the GCC Financial Forum in Manama earlier this year:
“The ability for Blockchain to be adopted at the country level is a huge opportunity for Bahrain to move into the spotlight as a pioneer in this space. Blockchain will unlock so many different possibilities for business in the way email and Internet did years ago.”
Joint venture with Saudi Arabia
An opportunity for a partnership with an established Bitcoin company from Saudi Arabia has opened its doors for Bitcoin exchanges in Bahrain. Rumaihi said that they are working with the Central Bank of Bahrain in the proposal.
Last month, Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation, also known as Bank ABC, joined the R3 distributed ledger consortium, becoming the first bank in the Middle East and North Africa region to join the group.
The collaboration of the two countries will allow the bank to develop innovative financial products for its clientele and “propel us further to achieve our strategic goals" as stated by Sael Al Waary, deputy group CEO at Bank ABC. The change of digital currency in the Middle East is seen on a positive note that any country can develop into a more advanced country.