OpenNode deploys BTC payment infrastructure in Bahrain Bank’s regulatory sandbox.

Bitcoin infrastructure provider OpenNode will test Bitcoin payment processing and payments solutions in the Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) regulatory sandbox, the company announced on September 13. This is the latest of many steps taken by the government to enter the crypto economy. Its own and as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

OpenNode offers the first Bitcoin (BTC) infrastructure in Bahrain, although the Gulf island nation has been attracting fintech companies to its shores for the past several years as it transitions away from a petroleum economy. Afnan Rahman, CEO and founder of OpenNode, called the deal with CBB “a watershed moment for the people of Bahrain, the Middle East and the Bitcoin economy as a whole.”

Dalal Buheji, Executive Director of Investment Development for Financial Services, Bahrain Economic Development Board, commented on the addition of OpenNode to the CBB sandbox.

“As a country, thanks to the flexibility and forward thinking of our regulators, we have always been ahead of the curve in adopting fintech solutions.”

However, Bahrain is unlikely to outpace Dubai in the Gulf region.

CBB developed a regulatory sandbox in 2017 and revised it in 2021. Also in 2021, Bahrain licensed local Sharia-compliant crypto exchange CoinMENA.

RELATED: Bahrain Looks to Be Middle East Pioneer in Blockchain

This year, CBB licensed Binance to operate in the country, making Binance the first international crypto exchange to receive a license in the GCC. It has also partnered with JPMorgan Chase’s crypto unit Onyx to create a faster cross-border payment solution.

OpenNode is currently operating in over 160 countries, including El Salvador. The company It was founded in 2018 with funding from venture capitalist Tim Draper and Draper Capital.