Blockchain Sukuk platform to grow presence in Saudi Arabia and UAE with R3 partnership

A Dubai-based fintech platform has engaged New York’s R3 to engineer an Islamic capital market infrastructure on the blockchain to optimize and facilitate Shariah securities transactions.

Using R3’s Corda Enterprise, the first phase of Wethaq’s platform will focus on supporting the offering and trading of Sukuk by digitizing the issuance process which is currently a manual and largely unstandardized undertaking.

Wethaq’s platform is yet another example of start-ups seizing the advantages of blockchain technology to increase cost-efficiency and reduce time-to-market for Islamic capital transactions: Indonesia’s Blossom Finance also introduced a blockchain Sukuk platform while Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank was the first financial institution to offer Sukuk on the blockchain in 2018.

This partnership would be the steppingstone for both R3 and Wethaq in expanding their footprint in the Middle East and farther afield.

“Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region are areas where we see huge potential for Corda to modernize the economy and our partnership with Wethaq is a step toward achieving that,” R3 CEO David E Rutter said, suggesting greater involvement in the Gulf region moving forward.

Mohammed Alsehli, CEO of Wethaq echoed Rutter’s sentiments: “Our joint focus is on building world class financial infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and the UAE, pursuant to their ambitious fintech agenda, before we expand to the entire Middle East and Southeast Asia.”

The platform-as-a-service for financial institutions, fundraisers and investors has been working with regulators in several jurisdictions to bring its Shariah compliant platform to market.


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