Fintech and developments around Blockchain have been taking the world by the storm. The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and developments in Blockchain have also touched the Islamic world.

The investment bank Marmore released “From Bitcoin to Blockchain”, a report that researches the impact of Blockchain technology on the Gulf states.

The report foresees implementation scaling up over the next five to seven years and suggests in which sectors they will occur.

Interest in the region is surely on the rise and has the backing of some regional governments, as Cointelegraph reported, so a Blockchain hub might be emerging.

The think tank arm of the Marmore Investment Fund makes a conclusion that GCC banks should advance fast with disruptive technologies.

Dubai going Blockchain

One of the Gulf States, Dubai, has already been through a testing phase for its Global Blockchain Council program developed by Consensys in areas that include health records, land title transfer, business registration, tourism engagement and shipping.

Kuwait is quick to join the Gulf race to spark interest and investment into Blockchain solutions.

Others catching up

Established in 2010, Marmore is an investment bank and asset management firm that caters specifically to the MENA region as a subsidiary of the Kuwait Financial Center.

This is the first purely Blockchain report released by the firm.

"From “Bitcoin To Blockchain” states that the region has traditionally lagged behind in adopting disruptive technologies, due to lack of a robust start-up environment."

Looking at bodies that are interested in supporting and accelerating emerging technologies such as Blockchain, the Dubai Future Foundation stands out. It has already singled out thirty companies and given them time to develop with access to millions of dollars in venture capital, one of which was the Consensys program.

"A trend of putting more resources into research, support and investment in Blockchain is emerging in the Gulf states."

Also, the $500 fee for the full report shows companies are now prepared to pay for quality research on the topic.

Real world application

The report lists the following applications and applicability in the GCC region:

Blockchain and its potential applicabillity in the GCC region

The press release of the report calls out remittances specifically, stating “The remittances industry could very well find itself in that position [of investment] should Blockchain start-ups succeed in convincing country regulators. Gearing up to the knowledge and adapting quickly is the only way out. Shape up or get shipped out.”

According to the report, cybersecurity, land registries and remittances will be impacted most if and when Blockchain solutions are employed.

Blockchain hub

Dubai, the city known for diversifying its economy away from oil and into a regional financial center, is an early adopter of new technology. With Marmore being the first region-specific investment bank providing an implementation report for the area, investment is likely to be scaled up. Cities like Dubai are using the opportunity and funds to become smart cities.