Bahrain launches program to attract fintech startups

04 Nov 2019

BahrainThe Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has launched a new program to attract more fintech startups to the country.

The investment promotion agency for the Kingdom of Bahrain has introduced the fast-track initiative aiming to attract more of these startups seeking to do business in Bahrain, according to the press release.

The fast-track aspect involves an expedited entry process covering visa requirements, residency and business registration processes, says a Coin Telegraph report. In addition, it provides advice from the country’s incubators and accelerators, as well as access to grants and financial supports. 

Within the statement, the Economic Development Board defines Bahrain as a better country to do business than its neighbours, and highlights its open cryptocurrency acceptance policy as well as its open banking industries.

The EDB stated: “The Kingdom's pioneering, agile and flexible regulatory framework allows it to regulate emerging technologies – such as open banking and cryptocurrencies – in a way other jurisdictions simply cannot. Thanks to this, Bahrain has earned a reputation as the region's de facto test-bed for cutting edge technologies.”

A number of countries in the Middle east are vying to become the dominant technology hub of the area.

The UAE has been pursuing the development of blockchain and AI technologies, and last month the Securities and Commodities Authority drafted a resolution on cryptocurrency regulation. This will allow for more clarification for cryptocurrency-related projects in the United Arab Emirates.

At the time, blockchain author and Financial Times and Google Top 100 European Digital Champion, Sukhi Jutla told Coin Telegraph that the UAE is sending a positive message by drafting this resolution: “They are signalling that they are open to exploring this area and by creating guidelines they are giving more reassurance, confidence and stability to businesses owners who may want to enter this field.”

Furthermore, back in September, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention introduced a blockchain system for recording and sharing healthcare data.
In addition, Dubai launched its Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020, aiming to become the first “blockchain-powered” city by next year.