Rain’s cryptocurrency trading platform shows Bahrain’s thriving tech ecosystem in action
Bahrain established itself as a leading banking centre many years ago, with a financial services sector that continues to exist on the cutting edge.
Rain had been operating in the Regulatory Sandbox of the Central Bank of Bahrain, an ideal testbed for new FinTech ventures, and became the first cryptocurrency trading platform to graduate the programme.
Last month, it acquired a regulatory license, joining an elite group of international cryptocurrency trading platforms, and closed a seed round of $2.5 million – the latest blockchain success story to come from Bahrain.
The startup’s fast growth demonstrates the Team Bahrain approach, which pairs smart private sector thinking with the public sector support needed to make innovative ideas a reality.
Analysts say the firm now has an “unprecedented opportunity” to be at the centre of cryptocurrency development in the region, bringing “greater diversification” to Middle Eastern traders.
FinTech innovation hub
Driven by initiatives like the Regulatory Sandbox, which gives firms the freedom to experiment, blockchain is set to become an increasingly important part of Bahrain’s business ecosystem.
There are many uses for the technology that powers Rain – from infrastructure support to finance and smart appliances. According to Wintergreen Research, the market value of the blockchain industry will hit $60 billion by 2024.
And with Bahrain’s ease of access to the $1.5 trillion Gulf market, opportunities are emerging at an increasing rate for blockchain entrepreneurs to usher in a new era of efficiency and lower costs.
The Kingdom is a destination for both local-based tech startups like Rain and large international players such as Amazon Web Services. Just last month, Mastercard and Bahraini financial transaction network BENEFIT announced a new blockchain programme allowing banks to deliver fast and secure cross-border payments.
Supported by a raft of revolutionary regulations, including the establishment of a digital-first framework that legally enables the use of blockchain by businesses, the Kingdom set up Bahrain FinTech Bay in 2018. It is the largest Fintech Hub in the Middle East and North Africa, offering entrepreneurs a place to grow among a solid community of like-minded trailblazers.
Rain is an example of the global synergies that make Bahrain a top destination for connectivity. Founded by blockchain enthusiasts from Egypt, Saudi and the Silicon Valley, the Bahrain-based firm draws on expertise from across the region.
This all comes at a time when the tech world is showing visible interest in Bahrain as a launchpad – hundreds attended the Kingdom’s BlockOn conference, which hosted a series of panels, keynotes and seminars. This wasn’t the only major event held here though, InsurByte gave leading insurance providers the platform to share transformative digital knowledge and information to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. RegFact 2019 was also hailed as a great success after bringing together more than 250 of the leading global officials, policy-makers and advocates in the regulatory technology industry.
As exciting technology developments happen, Bahrain continues to create an ecosystem where cryptocurrency businesses like Rain can thrive.