Money & Banking

Bahrain invites Indian players to develop blockchain technology

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on May 17, 2019

Even though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred crypto assets in the country from using its Regulatory Sandbox (RS), Bahrain’s Central Bank is keen on inviting Indian players to test their solutions in its RS.

Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, a quasi-government agency in charge of economic strategy, investment attraction, and execution of reforms said that besides testing solutions in its central bank’s RS, crypto players can also make the Gulf country a base for expanding their business to the international markets.

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) launched its RS earlier this year to enable blockchain and crypto companies test their solutions on Bahrain’s a digital-savvy population. The country also offers a range of grants to tech-startups, and also has a zero corporate tax system that makes it attractive for start-ups to set up shop.

David Parker, Executive Director, Financial Services, Bahrain EDB, told BusinessLine that Bahrain wants to invite Indian fintech companies, including crypto players, to facilitate the development of blockchain technology and other financial services, and also to promote the country as a base for fintech players to go international.

“Cryptocurrencies are the future and we can’t ignore that. But I won’t go far to say that Bahrain is a crypto island. We are early adopters and we are cautiously pro-crypto. The CBB has handled this very well, and we have strong anti-money laundering and consumer protection laws,” said Parker, adding that crypto-assets can test their products and solutions for a period of nine to 12 months.

So far, six crypto firms are a part of the RS, and one company, Rain, has already graduated and is awaiting a licence to operate.

Singapore-based crypto and blockchain company Belfrics, founded by Praveen Kumar, is currently a part of CBB’s sandbox.

Published on May 17, 2019

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