Bahrain is the third smallest country in Asia and the Middle East after Maldives and Singapore, with a population of approximately 1.3 million people. Although small, they are beginning to embrace technology at a faster pace than some of their larger neighbors in the region. As part of this advancement, Blockchain technology has become an important component in their future in high tech development.
Proof of this can be seen in an address to audiences at the country’s SmartSec Cyber Security and Blockchain Conference 2018, whereby, Abdulhussain Mirza, Bahrain’s minister of electricity and water affairs commented that “Technologies such as blockchain take us a huge step forward in finding a secure way to facilitate transactions.” MiMirza’s words mark a rare official comment in this sphere for Bahrain.
Additionally, Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of the Bahrain EDB when speaking at the Gulf Cooperation Council said that Bahrain is making moves toward the national adoption of blockchain technology in order to become a pioneer in the Fintech space. It is in this light that Al Rumaihi, spoke about ongoing talks with officials from the Central Bank of Singapore. For it is his belief that, “adaptability and capability” of Blockchain technology can be adapted on a countrywide level, thus allowing Bahrain to become a pioneer in this space.
Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) Launch Blockchain Academy
In November of the current year (11/26/18) we were further witness to The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) launching what it claims to be the country’s first “Blockchain Academy.” The establishment of this Blockchain Academy marks the country’s first professional qualification in Blockchain programing. BIBF and the Dubai-based training firm MyLearning Key will be organizing the project. As we can see, Bahrain is turning blockchain technology from learning into practice.
Blockchain for Tax Collection
The Kingdom is further planning to introduce blockchain technology into the sphere of value added tax (VAT) in next year. This endeavor will be an excellent opportunity to build a unique and optimized taxation system with blockchain technology serving the backbone of its official management. This is due to the fact, that blockchain speeds up government access to tax revenues from the final consumer of the service or Item, and at the same time accelerating the process of refunding the merchant and supplier of the taxes.
As we can see, Bahrain, is in the process of formulating a Blockchain Academy of learning while at the same time optimizing its use where already possible. This combination will help Bahrain move forward into a country built around technological partnerships with its neighbors in the region. These partnerships in my mind, ultimately leading to the process of more established relationships in the private and public sectors as well as in the Middle East Geo-Political arena.
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Contact the author,Andrew Bloom