As per the latest development, the Central Bank of Bahrain is working with Bitcoin payments infrastructure firm OpenNode to test Bitcoin payments and payout solutions in the country. This test shall happen via a regulatory Sandbox of the Central Bank of Bahrain.
So far, Bitcoin payments have been non-existent on the Middle East island. However, there’s a growing interest in Bitcoin in Bahrain similar to the entire Middle East. As part of the partnership, OpenNode shall be offering the payment infrastructure to help Bahrain grow its economy and explain why Bitcoin adoption could lead to better business.
Over the last few years, Bahrain has undertaken some post-oil economic measures. This includes building its tourism as well as the banking industry. Back in 2017, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) launched the regulatory sandbox for developing the country’s first FinTech ecosystem. Last year in 2021, they further enhanced the sandbox to transition towards a more diverse digital economy.
Bahrain’s central bank has authorized OpenNode to participate in the new regulatory sandbox framework which will allow FinTech firms to test their ideas and solutions. By offering an infrastructure for Bitcoin-based transactions, OpenNode will bring payment innovation to Bahrain.
Afnan Rahman, CEO, and Co-Founder at OpenNode said, “This is a watershed moment for the people of Bahrain, the Middle East and the Bitcoin economy as a whole. OpenNode’s leading Bitcoin infrastructure solution continues to pave the way for countries, governments and reputable financial institutions to adopt the Bitcoin standard and transact on the lightning network.”
Building financial services infrastructure
The Middle East nation of Bahrain is keen on building and upgrading its financial services infrastructure in the country. Furthermore, pushing for FinTech growth is an incentive to the country considering that its neighbors like the UAE are already accelerating these developments.
Speaking on the development, Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director – Investment Development for Financial Services at the Bahrain Economic Development Board– said, “We are proud to have worked with the Central Bank towards establishing a strong financial services ecosystem within the Kingdom of Bahrain. As a country, we have always been ahead of the curve in adopting Fintech solutions thanks to our regulator’s flexibility and forward thinking.”
“Financial services is an important sector within our economy, and fintech platforms such as the one soon to be tested by OpenNode are essential to ensure we continue to innovate while simultaneously adhering to best regulatory measures”, she added.
As mentioned, OpenNode is one of the leading infrastructure firms for offering Bitcoin payment services. It is currently active in more than 160 countries across the globe. Its huge market presence would also be beneficial to Bahrain.
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