Abu Dhabi Regulator Joins the R3 Blockchain Consortium

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial center that houses Abi Dhabi’s financial regulator, has joined the R3 blockchain consortium.

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In an announcement on Thursday, the ADGM confirmed its foray into blockchain development by joining the global bank-centric financial blockchain consortium led by New York-based startup R3. ADGM also becomes the first regulatory body in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to see membership in the R3-led consortium.

With the collaboration, the ADGM is gearing itself to play a central role in bringing together financial and banking authorities in the region toward a FinTech-forward agenda.

“The addition of Abu Dhabi Global Market to our ever-growing network takes our global engagement with the financial industry to the next level,” stated R3 CEO David Rutter. “MENA is an important region for us as we continue to develop distributed ledger technology solutions for financial services, and banks operating in the Gulf will be key strategic partners in our collaborative efforts,” the blockchain executive added.

With its membership, the ADGM reveals that its ‘FinTech team’ will have access to the latest developments on blockchain technology under the common roof of R3. The regulator will also collaborative with other regulatory bodies to share best practices and share information on blockchain technology solutions. Specifically, these solutions will be aimed for capital markets, to enhance efficiency and risk management.

Richard Teng, CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at ADGM stated:

We will be able to closely monitor blockchain developments and better assess the impact to financial market and the economy, as well as to develop RegTech solutiosn that benefit the financial industry.

The move to join one of the world’s largest blockchain consortiums comes amid an increasing foray into financial technologies by authorities and financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates.

In March 2017, the ADGM inked a FinTech partnership with its Singaporean counterpart, the Monetary Authority of Singapore – the country’s central bank. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has already launched a blockchain e-Voting service for shareholders to register votes over a blockchain during annual general meetings of listed companies on the exchange. Last month, the head of the exchange operator called blockchain as “the most innovative technology in digital transactions” and hinted at deploying blockchain technology by 2020.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi’s largest bank – launched cross-border payments using blockchain technology in February this year. Using the Ripple blockchain, the bank became the first lender in the region to launch real-time remittance payments using blockchain tech.

Featured image from ADGM.

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