Posted on March 12, 2019

With a view to drive financial technology -led economy in Qatar, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) successfully hosted a workshop on “Shariah Compliance Issues of Crypto Assets” in association with Association of National Development Finance Institutions in Member Countries of The Islamic Development (ADFIMI).

Established as an autonomous, independent and non-profit international organization, ADFIMI started its operations in September 1987 at its headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, on being given the status of an International Organization. It presently has around 40 members from 18 countries. ADFIMI organizes various training programmes, seminars, workshops, and conferences in different countries for the benefit of its members. Since its inception, ADFIMI forged solid partnership with the Islamic Development Bank (Additional information can be accessed at ADFIMI organized an International Development Forum in Doha in 2016 jointly with Qatar Development Bank. ADFIMI is proud to haveH.E Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, Governor of the Central Bank of Qatar as anHonorary Member of ADFIMI.

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The workshop, held on March 11, 2019 at the Intercontinental Hotel – The City, was attended by VIPs in the financial sector across the region. The workshop highlighted Qatar’s commitment to promote adoption of financial technology (fintech) and focused on topics such as Islamic FinTech Regulatory Landscape and Cryptocurrencies from Sharia standpoint. Various guest speakers during the workshop shared their global fintech experience as well as explored Shariah-compliance aspects of cryptocurrencies and any specific challenges. It’salso worth mentioning that QDB is a member in ADFIMI representing Qatar.

The emergence of fintech is only the latest wave of innovation to have hit the banking industry. While banks have undergone various technology-enabled innovation phases before, fintech has the potential to lower barriers of entry to the financial services market and elevate the role of data as a key commodity and drive the emergence of new business models. The workshop aptly reflected this very notion and helped participants in riding the fintech wave.

On this initiative, Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank, said: “For us, fintech remains a priority, and QDB has recently launched the IBM Innovation Hub Doha during the Global Entrepreneurship Week. We believe that enabling fintech requires building specialized knowledge and spreading the necessary awareness and with this intent, we organized this intriguing workshop, which garnered a phenomenal response from the participants and industry at large. This event forms the part of our efforts to build a vibrant fintech and digital banking ecosystem in Qatar, marking another step in a new era of growth for Qatari companies which will enormously help in achieving Qatar National Vision 2030.”

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In the past few years, fintech has emerged as one of the biggest disruptors of the once-traditional banking industry. Innovative banking services that offer increased efficiency and lower costs have helped propel the rise of fintech as a global industry. According to QDB research, during Q1 2018,theglobal fintech market witnessed a total investment of US$57.9 billion across 875 deals. Qatar has been fast catching up to the globally trending technological developments and is shaping up well as a technology-led economy. All thanks to the right regulatory environment, extremely competitive operating costs, government support, funding support and a ready financial services sector to work with, the banking sector is finding it easier to transform and upgrade as per the changing market dynamics.

Always staying at the forefront, QDB is taking tremendous efforts to offer much needed push to Qatar’s financial landscape, aptly backed by technology. The workshop highlights Qatar’s commitment to promote adoption of financial technology (fintech). The ensuing year means big for Qatar’s fintech aspirations and QDB will play the role of a frontrunner in making this happen with its slew of measures announced recently and some interesting developments will be announced soon.