India: Bahrain joins hands with Indian government and businesses in the field of blockchain and crypto-assets

The adoption of cryptocurrencies is gaining momentum in many countries, including Bahrain and India, as institutions and authorities decipher the use of blockchain. Recently, Bahrain’s Economic Board [EDB] invited Indian companies to set up base in the country as they are providing “a plethora of opportunities to Indian fin-tech firms for open banking, blockchain, crypto-assets, robo-advisory and remittances,” reported The Economic Times.

EDB is the public agency charged with attracting investment in the country and thus, the agency has been collaborating with the Indian government in many business arenas. The agency, which has offices in New Delhi and Mumbai as well, has also been working on improving the working conditions of Indian workers in the Gulf state.

The Senior Manager of EDB, Dalal Buhejji, noted that India is an important market for Bahrain and added that its board held a roadshow in Mumbai to attract fin-tech companies in December 2018. It’s Managing Director, Simon Galpin said,

“We are very keen to tap into not only the early stage startups that are coming out of leading Indian cities, but also scale-ups. Bahrain is a great test market for companies which want to diversify outside of India.”

The two countries have been working towards the adoption of cryptocurrencies actively. The Central Bank of Bahrain, on February 25, announced the issuance of “final rules on a range of activities relevant to crypto-assets,” reported Trade Arabia. The publication further added,

“The CBB crypto-asset rules deal with the rules for licensing, governance, minimum capital, control environment, risk management, AML/CFT, standards of business conduct, avoidance of conflicts of interest, reporting, and cyber security for crypto-asset services.”

In India, the Supreme Court has granted four weeks time to the Union government to come up with a policy on cryptocurrencies. The Union Government has been working to understand the functioning and the possible regulations associated with cryptocurrencies. The Supreme Court said that the court will come up with regulations if the Union government failed to do so within the deadline.

The EDB also emphasized on the benefits for companies moving to Bahrain such as “a simplified licensing process for foreign corporation, taxation incentives, a welcoming environment and unlimited access to Gulf and Middle Eastern markets.” The public agency is also looking to create an enabling ecosystem for startups, including viable financing options.

In December 2018, the government of the state of Maharashtra, India, signed an MoU with the EDB to present a cooperative framework, promoting the fin-tech sector in Bahrain and India. Under the agreement, the governments of both the nations will collaborate to encourage delegation visits, fin-tech educational programs, and cooperation between startups, financial institutions, government agencies, and universities.

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