Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox has become increasingly crypto-friendly as half of the companies approved are now either crypto exchanges or other crypto businesses including ATMs. There are currently 30 companies approved for the regulatory sandbox by the central bank.
Thirty companies are currently approved by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) for its regulatory sandbox, half of which are crypto service providers including exchanges.
Four companies have been approved this year and three of them (AT Payments Llc, Zpx Pte Ltd., and Bitcove Bahrain) are crypto service providers. In addition, the central bank’s 2018 annual report published last week details that 26 companies were approved between the introduction of the regulatory sandbox and the end of last year.
Companies currently approved for Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox. Source: CBB
According to the CBB report, up until the end of 2018, 35% of the companies approved for the regulatory sandbox were crypto exchanges and 11% were other provider crypto services such as ATMs and tokenization. When including the three companies approved this year, the number of crypto companies that have joined the regulatory sandbox reaches 50% of the total.
Composition of Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox at the end of 2018. Source: CBB
The Bahraini regulatory sandbox allows firms to “test their technology-based innovative solutions relevant to fintech or the financial sector in general,” the CBB detailed, noting that the duration of the sandbox is up to nine months with a maximum extension of three months. In December last year, the central bank announced that Tarabut Gateway, a subsidiary of Almoayed Technologies, became “the first company to successfully complete the regulatory sandbox stage and to receive the CBB’s in-principle confirmation under the Open Banking regulatory framework.”
Bahrain has been trying to attract businesses to its crypto-friendly environment.