The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Fintech Bay initiative is seen to attract fintech companies from across the globe, including cryptocurrency-focused operations by providing them with world-class infrastructure.
The move is the latest program of Bahrain following similar initiatives by several Middle Eastern countries towards accepting the digital asset revolution.
The Fintech Bay claims to be the largest co-working space in the region and offers opportunities for any global companies who want to set up operations in the country by assisting in starting up and helping them grow.
A Bahraini government official was quoted as saying:
“As of now, we recognize cryptocurrency as a commodity that can be traded in the exchanges. We are not considering it as a legal tender in any form.”
Aside from providing infrastructure for digital currency-focused companies, the Bay provides a partnership between the private sector and the government as it also offers qualified workforce for cryptocurrency operations.
Bahrain claims that the low tax rate and cheaper infrastructure makes the country attractive to global companies.
Adding gravy to the program, the Central Bank of Bahrain has set up a regulatory sandbox to look into the credentials of interested companies and institutions that will open up operations in the country to take advantage of their offer.
Under the regulatory sandbox, interested companies are required to register in Bahrain after securing approval from the central bank. After completion of the registration process, the Fintech Bay will see to it that the companies will be established and up and running.
The unnamed official added, “There are seven entities that have entered the Regulatory SandBox, four of these are cryptocurrency exchanges. We will study the functioning of these exchanges and then define the rules that are needed to regulate them.”
Bahrain first announced the creation of the regulatory sandbox in September last year, which it claimed aims to support blockchain ventures and transform itself into a hub for a lively cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of the Economic Development Board of Bahrain said then:
"This [Regulatory Sandbox] is much like Singapore and what the UK is looking at. This is not just talk. We have launched it. You can go to the website and application process is [G7] clear. We are open for business.”
Al Rumaihi added that the Persian Gulf nation also plans to establish a Bitcoin exchange.