SABB becomes Saudi Arabia’s first bank to join R3’s blockchain consortium
According to reports by local news outlet Trade Arabia on September 11, the Saudi British Bank (SABB) has become the first Saudi bank to join enterprise software firm and global banking consortium R3’s blockchain ecosystem.
SABB enjoys a strong presence in the Saudi financial space, having reportedly been named by Global Finance magazine as the “Best Trade Finance Bank” in Saudi Arabia for the 10th consecutive year, “Best Supply Chain Finance Bank” in the Middle East for 2018. It has also been named by Eurobank as Saudi Arabia’s “2018 Best Trade Finance Bank” for the 2nd year running.
Bank will help R3 in developing blockchain solutions for financial sector
The bank joins R3 Consortium’s efforts to enlist a broad spectrum of partners and members from different industries in both the private and public sectors to help develop its Corda open-source blockchain platform, alongside its commercial iteration, dubbed “Corda Enterprise.” R3 CEO David E. Rutter has said that SABB’s input to the consortium will be “invaluable” for R3’s efforts to develop blockchain solutions for the financial sector.
R3 was launched in 2014 with ambitious plans of supplying blockchain technology to a consortium of major banks. The company’s initial strategy involved an invitation-only version of blockchain that would let financial institutions carry out transactions in a faster and more secure fashion.
The project got off to a real good start as the likes of J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs agreed to be founding members of the consortium.
David Dew, managing director of SABB, noted that the bank hopes to offer its clients “all the far-reaching advantages of transaction-speed and security” that flow from distributed ledger-based solutions.
Cryptocurrency has slowly started to make inroads in Saudi Arabia, but the country is yet to consider it as legal. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in latest announcement, warned its citizens against dealings in the virtual currency.
But things are changing with the country’s long-term economic development program “Saudi Vision 2030” projecting blockchain as one of its priorities.
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