The Middle East island country of Bahrain is becoming interested in bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Their government hopes to be on the cutting edge of fintech innovations. Khalid Al Rumaihi, the chief executive of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain, mentioned the country has been eyeing the blockchain sector for some time. He hopes Bahrain can “issue bonds on digital currency.”
Regulatory Sandbox for Bitcoin in Bahrain
According to a Hindu business site, Bahrain wants to implement a regulatory sandbox for bitcoin to experiment with blockchain technology. The site quoted Rumaihi, “This [regulatory sandbox] is much like Singapore and what the UK is looking at. This is not just talk. We have launched it. You can go to the website and application process is clear. We are open for business.”
The country is open for business indeed. They recently put the regulatory sandbox into action. One news source said four businesses have already applied. Only two had currently been approved. The site specified:
Rumaihi said the Bahrain Central Bank had recently put in place Regulatory Sandbox regulations and as many as four companies had so far applied in this regard. Two of the four had already received approval from the central bank.
Bahrain: A Pioneer in the Fintech Space
Bahrain is excited to adopt crypto experimentation within their economy in order to move ahead of the crowd. They want to be innovative. They want to be high tech. An Arabian business site quoted Rumaihi. He said, national adoption of blockchain technology will enable the island nation to become a leader in the burgeoning ecosystem.
Rumaihi added that the whole financial industry is in the midst of being disrupted by blockchain technology. Now blockchain will unlock a whole new era for personal transactions through the internet, according to the Bahrain government. It will totally reshape the fiduciary landscape, they believe. In this regard, he hopes Bahrain can develop a thriving blockchain ecosystem.
Blockchain will unlock so many different possibilities for business in the way email and internet did years ago. What would prevent Bahrain from becoming a leader in this space in the same way Singapore is?
Regional Fintech Ecosystem
Besides Bahrain, it appears that other Middle East and Gulf states plan to create a lush fintech environment. The UAE and other zones in the area hope to benefit from blockchain and crypto-financial technologies. They are in the process of appointing fintech regulators to help the area grow and stabilize with this new technology.
The Arabian business site summarized, saying, “Other Gulf states have announced plans to develop the regional fintech ecosystem, such as the UAE, where financial free zone the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has unveiled plans to establish a fintech regulator and signed cooperation agreements with fintech players.”
What do you think about Bahrain getting so involved in cryptocurrency? Is this good for the Middle East? Is it good for bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
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