Bahrain, though the smallest of the countries in the Middle East, is today taking the lead in blockchain related projects, especially crypto assets. It is on the verge of enacting regulations for cryptocurrency and becoming a pioneer in blockchain in the region. The country has some 116 licensed banks, 151 insurance companies and a number of investment institutions that together account for one-fourth of its GDP.
Bahrain’s Economic Development Board had endorsed blockchain in 2017, giving formal approval for 28 blockchain enterprises and also continuing to expand the fintech capital flows from other GCC countries, as well as from China, India and the UK. The Central Bank of Bahrain had also formulated rules regarding licensing, governance and cybersecurity.
Besides, there has also been a regulatory sandbox to help boost fintech and blockchain-related businesses. The regulatory sandbox functions under the fintech and innovation unit of the Central Bank of Bahrain. There are some 35 firms in the sandbox and 2 have already graduated to ‘full license’ status. UK company Fasset, a provider of blockchain-powered platforms, has been mandated to test its solutions for the tokenisation of hard assets in the regulatory sandbox. The authorization is the first of its kind in the world.
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