Qatar University (QU)'s Centre for Law and Development (QU-CLD) at the College of Law has published a "groundbreaking" new article seeking to capitalise on the benefits of blockchain and improve trade finance in Qatar.
"Nations worldwide have sought to capitalise on the benefits of distributed ledger technology (DLT), including blockchain, but struggled to strike a balance between encouraging investment and innovation in the technology while addressing the challenges and uncertainties through regulation. Through its FinTech (financial technology) strategy, Qatar has sought to embrace DLT, but its regulatory approach also remains cautious," QU said in a statement.
Trade finance is an ideal business process to be disrupted through the benefits of DLT and especially blockchain technology, since its processes remain antiquated and inefficient and lack digitisation. Blockchain as a form of DLT particularly offers the trade finance process not only more rapid, secure, cost-effective and efficient procedures, but importantly also completely assures trust between importers and exporters and removes the requirement to place such trust in third-party intermediaries, the statement notes.
Qatar can reap considerable economic benefits through the enhancement of its trade finance regulations enabling the adoption of such blockchain technology. As such, the authors propose a roadmap and manual for the governance of the trade finance blockchain ecosystem in Qatar.
The authors propose multi-layered governance approach to the regulation of blockchain in Qatar by embracing international regulations and standards; replicating foreign regional and national rules that are appropriate and innovative; and applying sandbox regulations to blockchain products and services.
The Centre for Law and Development at the College of Law, QU, has now published approximately 90 high-impact articles in major scholarly journals and books.
Dr Jon Truby, director of the CLD and author, said: “Trade finance in Qatar can significantly benefit from blockchain technology through our roadmap of regulatory amendments. One solution we have proposed is to utilise sandbox regulations for blockchain products and services, giving Qatar a strategic edge."
Dr Imad Ibrahim, assistant research professor of public law at the CLD, added: “Research on emerging technologies such as blockchain is extremely important in the Qatari context to make sure that the domestic regulator enables innovation in these fields and to guarantee the competitiveness of the Qatari market at the global level."
This publication was made possible by an NPRP award from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). It is available at this link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41261-021-00165-1