As Crypto Regulations In India Enter Final Stage, Bahrain Invites India’s FinTech Firms

The Indian government has recently notified the Supreme Court that it is in the final stage of drafting the regulatory framework for digital assets and cryptocurrencies. Following the ban by India’s central bank, crypto companies in India are finding it difficult to continue the business. Not to mention, the heavy market meltdown is adding further woes.

In September 2018, crypto exchange Zebpay also announced to shut down its operations owing to the business slowdown due to the banking ban. However, the local crypto community has taken the matter to the Supreme Court for against the central bank decision.

Lawyer Jaideep Reddy of Nishith Desai Associates, representing the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) The matter was heard for a very short period of time. The matter started with the counsel for the Union of India stating that its committee is in the final stages of deliberations and that the matter should be heard after that”.

On the other hand, the latest report from The Economic Times, shows that the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has invited Indian FinTech firms to set up a base in their country. Bahrain attracts Inidan companies by providing a number of opportunities “for open banking, blockchain, crypto assets, robo advisory and remittances”.

Last week on February 25, the central bank of Bahrain (CBB) officially announced final rules concerning crypto assets. This includes the “licensing, governance, minimum capital, control environment, risk management, AML/CFT, standards of business conduct, avoidance of conflicts of interest, reporting, and cyber security for crypto-asset services”.

The EDB also cited number of benefits for Indian companies in Bahrain like a conducive business environment, taxation incentives, simplified licensing process for foreign corporations, and unlimited access to the Middle Eastern Market. EDB also plans to help startups with different financing options and thus create a stable ecosystem.

EDB Managing Director Simon Galpin was quoted as saying: “We are very keen to tap into not only the early stage startups that are coming out of leading Indian cities, but also scale-ups. Bahrain is a great test market for companies which want to diversify outside of India”.

In December 2018, EDB signed a memorandum with the Indian state of Maharashtra to provide a cooperative framework and promote FinTech growth in both countries. Under this colllaoration, both the governments will “engage in encouraging delegation visits, fintech educational programs, and cooperation between startups, financial institutions, government agencies, and universities,” said Startup Bahrain.