On 18th May 2023, WHAMPOA Group, a Singapore-based investment group, announced its plans to establish a digital bank in Bahrain, aimed at supporting the growth of the digital-assets industry.
The bank is expected to be operational by the end of this year and will cater to institutions, innovators, and investors worldwide. WHAMPOA intends to offer a range of digital banking services, including trading, custody, and asset management of digital assets.
WHAMPOA Group’s decision to set up the digital bank in Bahrain was influenced by the country’s strong reputation in the financial services sector, transparent regulatory framework, and commitment to collaboration and innovation, according to Shawn Chan, the group’s CEO.
Bahrain, being among the first countries in the Middle East to issue crypto-asset licenses, has established itself as a prominent hub for crypto services and fintech innovations in the region, as acknowledged by WHAMPOA.
The financial services sector plays a significant role in Bahrain’s economy, contributing 17.5% to its gross domestic product.
Khalid Humaidan, CEO of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, stated that the establishment of a digital bank aligns directly with the kingdom’s economic recovery plan, which prioritizes digitization across the financial services sector.
Chan expressed optimism about the long-term prospects of digital assets, citing the continued growth and adoption of blockchain and other Web 3.0 technologies.
He highlighted the projected increase in crypto users from the current estimate of 230 million to a billion by 2030, with a majority of merchants expected to accept cryptocurrency payments within the next two years.
WHAMPOA Group, established as a private multi-family office, has ventured into digital-asset investing with the formation of Whampoa Digital in 2022.
The group’s digital strategy encompasses a public-market fund for trading digital assets, a private-market fund for investments through venture or private equity routes, incubator services, and research and advisory capabilities.
With the establishment of the digital bank in Bahrain, WHAMPOA Group aims to leverage the country’s favorable business environment and contribute to the growth and development of the digital-assets industry on a global scale.