On March 3, Bahrain invited companies in India to participate in what it calls a fintech sandbox. It is doing this in the hope of developing blockchain technology in the country. Among the opportunities Indian firms will be able to pursue include those involving blockchain applications, digital assets, remittances and open banking. Dalal Buhejji, who is a senior manager for the Bahrain Economic Development Board, indicated that last December a number of Indian firms applied to participate in the sandbox. At the same time, the board also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian state of Maharashtra. The agreement will allow the two governments to develop a framework for promoting fintech in both regions. Buhejji further issued a statement in which she said that the Central Bank of Bahrain, which initiated the sandbox, has created the perfect ecosystem for developing both innovation and growth. She also mentioned new government regulations that support digital asset trade regulation, open banking and the development of robo-advisors. The central bank initiated the sandbox as a means for giving blockchain and cryptocurrency companies the ability to test operations in the country. The sandbox went live in February of this year and it has let companies try out their solutions for a limited number of users. The sandbox also expedites a company's entrance into the country's market. Later in February, Rain, which is a digital currency exchange in Bahrain that has been participating in the sandbox, received a Shariyah compliance certificate from the country's central bank. The Shariyah Review Bureau, which is a Shariyah auditing and consulting firm in the country that is licensed by the central bank, performed the actual review of the exchange. Bahrain has been recently using blockchain technology for more than just fintech. In January of this year, the University of Bahrain indicated that they would begin issuing diplomas on a blockchain. This was done as part of a wider digitalization strategy. The system was created in conjunction with a startup called Learning Machine and will provide verifiable academic records within the context of a decentralized network.
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