Dubai’s Wethaq Partner with R3 to Digitize Islamic Capital Markets

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Dubai’s Wethaq, has signed a strategic partnership with banking behemoth R3 to construct the next generation of financial market infrastructure to enable issuers, investors, central banks and regulators to seamlessly transact in Islamic capital markets.

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Mohammed Alsehli, CEO at Wethaq said:

“In building the next generation of financial market infrastructure for Sukuks we have found a valuable and trusted partner in R3 and its Corda Enterprise software. 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. We invite the wider Sukuk community to join the platform to ease access to capital markets, source new products for investors internationally and more closely integrate Sukuk markets with their global counterparts.”

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said:

“Blockchain is driving an unprecedented period of innovation across capital markets, with more assets moving towards complete digitization. As such, there is no better time to seize the advantages of blockchain to transform global financial systems. 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 towards achieving that.”

Wethaq’s platform –built on R3’s Corda Enterprise – is initially aimed at improving the market infrastructure supporting the issuance and trading of Sukuk securities. There is currently substantial unmet demand for Sukuk, the global market for which is worth over $120bn annually. The platform will make Sukuk more accessible by digitizing the costly and lengthy issuance process, which is at present manual, non-standardised and fragmented.

Wethaq has been working alongside regulators in several jurisdictions to ensure the platform will be fully compliant both from financial and Shariah perspectives.

R3’s Corda Enterprise platform is specifically designed for practical business usage and includes additional security protocols that make it ideally suited to the heavily regulated and complex Sukuk capital market.

The Wethaq platform will simplify the Sukuk lifecycle, being solely accountable for performing functions that would otherwise be performed by a number of banks, clearing and trustee entities. Furthermore, the Wethaq platform is designed to seamlessly interoperate with global Financial Market Infrastructure enabling wider distribution for issuers and investors.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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