Technology innovations such as blockchain could help cut the costs related to financing global trade by as much as 20%, according to a new report compiled by the Dubai Multi-Commodities Center (DMCC).
The report said that the cost of global trade stands at approximately $1.8 trillion, and 20% of that cost is related to paperwork processed by banks and corporates.
Bahrain has jumped on this following a dialogue with the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year seeking advice to deploy a national blockchain pilot, local news reported.
Bahrain’s General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) announced on May 11, a new plan to develop a blockchain-based vehicle registration system in the country.
This adds to a series of initiatives aimed at incorporating the ledger technology into its business operations.
Blockchain which acts as a digital public ledger that records transactions could cut out the need for much of this paper-based documentation.
Similar initiatives have been launched by financial centers in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain.
Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Abdulwahab Al Khalifa, director general of the GDT, said in a statement:
“This registry will be a vital advancement in reducing the overall cost of maintaining critical vehicle information, offer greater efficiency regarding supply chain management, and ensure a high level of transparency for all stakeholders in the vehicle registration ecosystem.”
Ledger acceptance in Bahrain
According to CPI Financial, over the last few years, people have started being aware of blockchain, robot-advisory services, digital wallets and so forth.
“A lot of the players that are in Bahrain are also looking at very creative digital solutions of banking the unbanked, giving them microinsurance, how to utilize the blockchain to lower prices, and bring these people on board,” CPI reported.
“There is a growing awareness of blockchain and the utilization of blockchain, and this will revolutionize the way that business is done. Bank ABC was the first to join a blockchain consortium, and others are already looking at how they can be involved as well.”
A few noteworthy blockchain related developments are taking place in Bahrain.
It is working with Gulf International Bank (GIB) to launch a digital bank called Reem.
Bahrain also has something called the bWallet, a collaboration between Arab Financial Services and the Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), who have partnered to allow peer-to-peer payments and QR code payments to give you cash back.
According to CoinTelegraph, An opportunity for a partnership with an established Bitcoin company from Saudi Arabia has opened its doors for Bitcoin exchanges in Bahrain.
The collaboration of the two countries will allow the bank to develop innovative financial products for its clientele and “propel us further to achieve our strategic goals” as stated by Sael Al Waary, the deputy group CEO at Bank ABC.
Finally, the team behind Block Hedge, the most significant blockchain event, recently announced that they are bringing the event to Bahrain this September.