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Bahrain’s Bank ABC utilises the Onyx blockchain from JPMorgan for international payments

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Following two years of extensive experimentation, JPMorgan and the Bahraini bank are set to introduce U.S. dollar payment settlements across multiple countries, with ambitious plans to extend their services to euros in the near future. Bank ABC, headquartered in Bahrain, will leverage JPMorgan’s Onyx Coin Systems to facilitate blockchain-based cross-border payments, commencing with a soft launch. This innovative service promises heightened cost-efficiency and drastically reduced settlement times compared to conventional solutions.

Initially, Bank ABC will deploy the U.S. dollar for transactions encompassing Bahrain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong. However, the partners have their sights set on expanding their footprint, encompassing more regions and fostering transactions involving the euro. Furthermore, they are actively developing programmable payment solutions that hold significant promise.

The official launch of this groundbreaking service follows two years of rigorous experimentation. Naveen Mallela, the Global Head of Onyx Coin Systems, expressed in a statement, “This empowers instantaneous, atomic, and unequivocal execution of cross-border commercial transactions between Bahrain and the U.S. corridors.” Notably, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) played a pivotal role in overseeing a trial in January 2022, during which JPM Coin was employed to settle payments between National Aluminium Bahrain and its U.S. counterparts through Bank ABC.

Remarkably, Bank ABC boasts the distinction of being the first Middle Eastern institution to collaborate with JPMorgan’s blockchain service, marking a significant milestone. Earlier in the year, Onyx established partnerships with six Indian banks for a pilot project focused on USD settlement and joined forces with the esteemed German conglomerate Siemens for euro settlement. The inception of JPM Coin dates back to 2020.

Bahrain has been actively modernizing its financial ecosystem in recent years. In March 2022, Binance secured a license within the kingdom, surpassing Dubai to become the first member of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf to license an international cryptocurrency exchange by a mere few days. Additionally, Binance formed a strategic alliance with EazyPay to offer retail payment services in Bahrain, although the current availability of this service remains uncertain.

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