HSBC Bank helped to enable the transaction and the CEO of HSBC Oman, Andrew Long, has hailed this as a big step towards Oman leveraging the benefits of blockchain technology. He said:
“Completing the first blockchain trade finance transaction is yet another significant milestone in our journey in Oman as it breaks new ground in pushing forward digital technologies in Oman’s financial sector.” The transaction took just 24 hours, whereas traditional methods would have taken between five and ten days to complete.
How industries in Oman stand to benefit from blockchain
In 2018, Oman’s government-owned Blockchain Solutions and Services Co rolled out a blockchain platform, highlighting the key industries in Oman that would benefit, including insurance, health care, real estate, government services, and supply chain management among others. BankDhofar, Oman’s second-largest bank, started to use RippleNet to make cross-border payments to India. This service significantly speeds up the process for non-resident Indians living in Oman who want to transfer payments to friends, family and businesses in India. Payment can be done using a mobile banking app and takes less than 2 minutes to complete.
Ripple and blockchain lead the way for cryptocurrencies with Ripple trade becoming increasingly popular as the price volatility makes it an attractive trading option. Day traders have been gaining short-term trading opportunities due to the current volatility of XRP, which is related to internal changes to the ledger as well as general market fluctuations. However, of all the cryptocurrencies, XRP is one that is expected to have longevity, given that it is used by major financial companies such as Santander.
For Oman, the first blockchain transaction has opened the door to use this method of payment across a number of industries. For example, logistics company DHL in Oman state on their website that the industry stands to benefit from faster and leaner logistics and that “industry-wide adoption will have significant impact, reducing delay, fraud, and costs across the supply chain.” They also point out that it will improve traceability and transparency of goods as it will allow users to verify whether products are authentic.
HSBC is driving the use of blockchain forward in Oman by broadcasting its various benefits. Recently, they announced that they will transfer $20 billion worth of paper records on a blockchain platform. This will provide investors with an easier way to access their holdings and will form a ‘Digital Vault’ that is more secure and transparent.
How companies can get started with using blockchain technology
For any companies that are unsure of the whole blockchain process and need to learn more about it before deciding whether their company can benefit from it, they can attend workshops and training events to get up to speed with the workings of blockchain and how to optimise its use.
There are now many different blockchain development companies based in Oman that can allow others to leverage the powers of blockchain. For example, Oman-based Fusion Informatics have been working with a number of companies to improve their processes through the adoption of blockchain. One of the case studies on their website details how they simplified and secured the record-keeping and tracking of products for a large logistics company. The key benefits in addition to security and transparency included faster transit time and the building of trust between companies.
According to an article on PressReader, Spiderbrains is another company based in Oman that is helping businesses to unlock the potential of blockchain. They provide services to a range of industries including insurance, logistics, banking, healthcare and many more. Spiderbrains enable companies to harness the power of blockchain by developing the highest standard of applications that drive the company’s blockchain strategy forward.
Oman may be starting to explore the use of blockchain later than many other countries but now those first crucial steps have been made to instill confidence in the process, this leads the way to many benefits. Over the next few years, more investment will be made into using blockchain in Oman, opening up the door to the savings and slicker processing that it enables.