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Senior Government Official Calls for Greater Blockchain Technology Capacity Development in the Country

A Bahraini minister has called on companies and individuals in the country to adopt blockchain technology. According to the minister, this would go a long way in developing the country and combating cyber-crime.

Bahrain Stands to Benefit from Blockchain Technology

According to lcoal media sources, Bahrain’s Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza, has emphasized the importance of blockchain adoption. During the inauguration of the two-day SmartSec Cyber Security and Blockchain Conference 2018, the Minister said that Bahraini companies and citizens must take advantage of the nascent technology.

Speaking on its potentials, Mirza referred to the technology as a “true mark of progress” and hailed it as a significant advancement for the country. The minister believes that blockchain technology was capable of combating cyber threats and insecurity.

The Bahraini minister also believes that the adoption of blockchain technology will go a long way in creating secure transactions. Also, the immutability of the blockchain is a valuable asset that can be useful for companies and industries, to maintain customer privacy.

Abdulhussain Mirza further said:

This is the kind of initiative that we would like Bahraini companies to have so that innovation can arise amongst the great minds of this community. “Cyber-security is an essential part of our lives because most of our daily lives involve the use of technology in one way or another.

Mirza also noted the prevalence of digital attacks which affected over sixty countries, including Bahrain, in 2017. Bahrain’s apex bank recently warned various financial institutions, including banks, of an impending attack aimed at ATMs all over the globe.

According to the minister, the digital age means that security should be taken seriously. He also said that adequate electricity supply should be a priority, as it ensures safety and immunity against cyber-attacks.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Adoption in Bahrain

Bahrain is looking to become a global virtual currency hub, with its firm belief in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. In March, the island enabled a “regulatory sandbox” for virtual currency. At the time, four digital currency exchanges were entered into the Regulatory Sandbox which would be studied and later regulated.

In August, ABC, a Bahrain-based bank, became the first bank in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) region to joinS a blockchain-based consortium, by R3.

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Bahrain Hopes to Cut Vehicle Data Storage Costs Using Blockchain

The Kingdom of Bahrain is eyeing the adoption blockchain technology in bid to cut the cost of maintaining the country’s vehicle registration data.

Bahrain’s General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) announced on Thursday a new plan to develop a blockchain-based vehicle registration system in the country and is now looking for a technical partner to focus on the system’s design and implementation.

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 in terms of supply chain management, and ensure a high level of transparency for all stakeholders in the vehicle registration ecosystem.”

Announced during the Gateway Gulf Forum backed by the country’s crown prince, the GDT’s plan comes as part of a wider push by the Bahrain government to deliver advanced technologies through partnerships with the private sector.

Indeed, the Middle East country has already seen major financial institutions pursuing potential blockchain initiatives. As reported by CoinDesk in August 2017, the Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corporation has joined the R3 distributed ledger consortium in a bid to provide additional services to customers.

Earlier last year, the Bahrain government had also started a dialogue with the Monetary Authority of Singapore,  the country’s de facto central bank, seeking advice it sought to deploy a national blockchain pilot, according to a local news report.

“The ability for blockchain to be adopted at the country level is a huge opportunity for Bahrain to move into the spotlight as a pioneer in this space,” CEO of Bahrain Economic Development Board, Khalid Al Rumaihi, said at the time.

Bahrain image via Shutterstock

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