While the United States, Europe and Asia are often seen as being at the forefront of fintech development, many Middle Eastern countries, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are spearheading these innovative uses.
The SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority), announces that it has used blockchain technology in recent transfers to strengthen the banking sector. This experiment is part of the kingdom’s desire to promote innovative financial technologies. It is within this framework that SAMA has created Fintech Saudi, a structure dedicated to supporting the development of innovative financial technologies, the fintech.
Other initiatives of the Saudi central bank include the recent creation by the Saudi Capital Markets Authority of Sandbox Regulatory. With Sandbox Regulatory, the growing Saudi fintech ecosystem now has a “safe space” to test its new digital solutions in an adapted and controlled environment, through new digital banking services and blockchain technology training programs. A boon for fintech firms that are often hampered in the development phases of their products, which are difficult to adapt to market regulations.
Middle East: New Eldorado of the Blockchain?
It is no coincidence that Saudi Arabia now uses this technology to track its investments. For several years now, Middle Eastern countries have been prescriptive when it comes to financial innovations.
In Bahrain, the Economic Development Council has also approved this technology. The island’s regulatory authorities, working closely with the financial services and government, have introduced new regulations on the use of crypto-actives to attract international talent. At the University of Bahrain, digital diplomas are now awarded on the blockchain.
In the Arab Emirates too, there is a lot of activities in these areas. Research in the Blockchain and cryptocurrencies has been allocated a lot of investment and the regulations have been optimized to allow experimentation.
This position as a new Eldorado of innovation attracts startups from all over the world and gives the Middle East a prescriptive position in areas of expertise that should soon position it as a champion of progress in financial technologies.