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Tuesday 11 December 2018


First MENA bank joins R3 blockchain consortium

Written by Anthony Strzalek

Bank ABC in Bahrain has become the first financial institution in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to join the blockchain-focused R3 consortium.

The move follows that of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) which joined R3 back in May, becoming the first regulatory body in the MENA region to join the network.

The over 80-strong consortium of the world's biggest financial institutions is spearheading research and development of blockchain-inspired distributed ledger technology (DLT) to build the next generation of financial services infrastructure.

DLT enables participating parties to form and maintain consensus about the existence, status and evolution of a set of shared facts on their stakeholders. These systems allow competing firms to collaborate to maintain secure, shared databases and reduce cost and execution time.

Sael Al Waary, deputy group CEO of Bank ABC, said: “We are privileged to be part of this prestigious consortium of international banks and financial institutions, which is spearheading a pivotal change in the industry. DLT and blockchain technology has added a new dimension to the evolving FinTech landscape and we are confident that this alliance will propel us further to achieve our strategic goals.

“We are committed to continue to provide our customers with exceptional customer service and innovative financial products. DLT will help us fulfil our promise to clients.”

David Rutter, CEO of R3, added: “We’ve already made substantial progress in our development of distributed ledger technology, with the launch of Corda and numerous successful proof of concepts, on our open source distributed ledger platform. The addition of Bank ABC marks a significant milestone for R3, becoming our first partner in the Middle East as we continue to expand our global network. We look forward to working with them and extending the benefits of distributed ledger technology even further.”

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