The middle-eastern nation is finding ways to invest in the financial technology industry and has exclusively invited Indian fintech firms to set up their base in Bahrain. This comes at a time when the government of India is reportedly working towards formulating a cryptocurrency regulation under duress by the apex court amidst the stifling conditions of the crypto industry, after the RBI declared Bitcoin as illegal fiat. It could be seen as a strategic move by the Arab nation of luring the crypto firms that faced a certain degree of fallout because of the RBI’s firm stance against all form of crypto assets.
As reported by Economic Times, the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Bahrain plans on employing the Indian crypto companies by offering incentive to crypto businesses and a wide range of resources for instance regulatory framework and healthy banking solutions for growth and innovation.
Dalal Buhejji, the Senior Manager for the EDB of Baharain told Economic Times,
“Central Bank of Bahrain has put in the right ecosystem to support growth and innovation. We have seen different new regulations coming up recently to support open banking, crypto asset regulation and draft regulation on robo advisory.”
Presenting itself as a country that is open to risk-taking associated with innovation and technological advancement, it seems to be challenging the negative attitude towards cryptocurrency by the banking sector as well as the governing body of India. Besides being a front runner for innovation in the financial technology sphere, Bahrain also provides certain perks such as ‘low cost of doing business, right accelerator, incubators’ and establishing itself as a sandbox for testing financial innovation and attracting investment.
The Indian government and banking regulators need to seriously reconsider the missed opportunities of not investing in digital technology and the impact it could have on the Indian Fintech industry while countries like Bahrain are taking huge strides in digital innovation and financial technology.
The EDB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Maharashtra government to provide regulatory framework for supporting fintech in various sectors and markets. In partnership with the Maharashtra government, the EDB created Bahrain Fintech Bay, a platform for promoting startups and providing a space for fintech firms.