GCC’s first Waqf blockchain platform to be launched in the Sultanate

CONRAD PRABHU –
MUSCAT, APRIL 29 –
The Gulf region’s first blockchain solution for sharia-based transactions will shortly be launched in Oman against the backdrop of the 1st Islamic Fintech Forum (OiFF2019), due to be held here during June 26-27, 2019.
The two-day event has been organised by Elmangos, a leading global business events producer and consultancy firm, with the support of e-Oman and the Information Technology Authority (ITA) of the Sultanate.
A key highlight of OiFF2019 is the launch of a new Waqf Blockchain solution for the first time in the GCC region by Finterra, a leading blockchain social solutions provider. The Waqf Blockchain solution is billed as the first and only platform in the world that has specifically developed a blockchain-based solution to crowdfund Waqf charity, Islamic investments, and peer-to-peer lending.
The Sultanate, according to the Singapore-headquartered fintech start-up, is ideally-placed for the introduction and uptake of the blockchain solution, given its ambitions to develop the Waqf and digitalize financial services.
In February, Finterra piloted its blockchain-based Waqf Chain solution in Malaysia for the crowdfunding of Waqf charity, Islamic investments and peer-to-peer lending. It involves the utilisation of blockchain based smart contracts to ease the process of setting up, authorising and authenticating endowed properties (Waqf). The initiative is seen as significant in tokenising Waqf assets and thereby enhancing transparency in the Waqf ecosystem.
The Oman Islamic Fintech Forum (OiFF2019), according to the organisers Elmangos, aims at highlighting Islamic Fintech’s potential to develop the economy and improve financial inclusion. The forum will provide the platform for global Islamic institutions to showcase their experience and success stories. It will also facilitate business exchange and collaboration opportunities between key stakeholders for the development of the industry in Oman.
Additionally, OiFF2019 aligns with Oman’s digital transformation strategy and economic diversification goals, the Istanbul-based event management firm noted. “The Sultanate is currently considering digitalization and new technologies to boost economic growth. Elmangos believes that promoting Fintech in Oman at this stage is in line with Oman’s 2040 vision to diversify the economy. OiFF2019 will shed the light on the significant contribution Islamic Fintech can have to the local economy.”
The theme of this first inaugural edition is “Embracing Digital Transformation” with a particular focus on the banking sector, namely the Islamic segment. “Oman Islamic FinTech Forum aims to become the exclusive Islamic Fintech reference in Oman. This event will bring industry experts from various fields of expertise — regulators, bankers, entrepreneurs, investors, and IT experts to share their experiences and insights in developing the FinTech ecosystem for Islamic finance in Oman,” the organisers stated.