The banks of Middle East, however conservative the countries in this region might be, do not hesitate to implement modern technologies. This was shown once again when Bank ABC, situated in Bahrain, announced its plans to use a distributed ledger technology to account and verify financial transactions. In order to do this, this bank is going to join the R3 blockchain consortium.
This consortium has more than 70 members, including some respected and old financial institutions like Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, holdings from Japan, Brazil and South Korea. Its main mission is to provide a distributed ledger platform to market participants and to research the means of its implementation. It should be noted here that although many outlets call R3 a blockchain consortium, it’s mainly focused on only one aspect of blockchain, the DLT.
Bank ABC itself is a big regional player, operating in Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan and other Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries. The bank management is optimistic about this innovative technology they are about to implement: they state that it will help them to achieve their strategic goals and fulfill their promises to clients.
Emirates NBD, another wealthy financial institution in the region, is currently testing blockchain technologies another way: in cooperation with United Arab Emirates’ Central Bank. According to statements made by information officers of this corporation, improved paper cheques technology was one of the first achievements made during these tests and they are eager to invent more implementation ideas, welcoming to join all banks and investors who are interested.
With these two examples, no doubt some other MENA banks will try to use blockchain in their business – one way or another.