Blockchain could come to Qatar’s rescue after four Middle Eastern countries cut ties
with the country over its alleged support of terrorism. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced they had severed diplomatic and transport ties on Monday while neighboring Pakistan said it currently had “no intention” of following them. The Financial Times quotes a Saudi news agency stating the government enacted the policy for the “protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.”
Qatari sources reacted saying the collective move “was founded on allegations that have no basis in fact.” While the government added it would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents,” Qatar’s isolation could provide a timely opportunity for disruptive innovation to take hold. The country has been an active participant in Blockchain experimentation, specifically in its banking sector, with pilot schemes being successfully completed for money transfers in April.
“We have just started blockchain, a cutting-edge technology that will be used for remittances. We are the first bank in Qatar to actually pilot this approach,” Joseph Abraham, CEO of the Commercial Bank of Qatar, told local news resource The Peninsula last month. Of the four states pressuring Qatar, the UAE and increasingly Bahrain are also becoming major players in Blockchain.