IWBF 2018 Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has established a special task force to study the implementation of blockchain in the country as well as the shariah-compliant component of the technology.

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah said there is a lot of potentials that blockchain represents across various industries, especially the Islamic finance sector.

A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.

The system is designed to use nodes agreement to order transactions and could effectively be used to prevent fraud.

“Blockchain is the buzz word everywhere in the world and Malaysia does not want to fall behind. We acknowledge that the technology could provide efficiencies across various industries in Malaysia.

“We are in the infancy stage at this task force, but will now discuss the implementation and the infrastructure needed for the technology and we are fully supporting this.

“Malaysia is at the forefront of the halal industry and Islamic finance. We want to be the champion of Islamic Fintech too in the future,” he told reporters at the International Waqf and Blockchain Forum 2018 (IWBF) here today.

Abu Bakar said the ministry is in talks with various stakeholders on the development of blockchain in the country, and towards the end of the discussion, will develop a Shariah-compliant guideline for blockchain technology.

The one-day forum saw the participation of 600 delegates from diverse backgrounds such as academicians, NGOs, practitioners, regulators, government officials, corporate technology companies, financial institutions, and students.

The event was jointly organised by Finterra Technologies Sdn Bhd, a blockchain development company, and the International Centre for Waqf Research (ICWR) which is a division under the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

“With the rise in innovations happening in the financial and technological terrain, Islamic finance and religious authorities, including waqf principles will need to maneuver carefully and reinvent themselves especially in terms of governance to remain relevant especially since they constitute a major socio-economic institution in the today’s financial market,” Abu Bakar said.

Finterra Technologies chief executive officer Hamid Rashid said this particular venture aims to use blockchain technology to modernise the management of Islamic development.

“The IWBF platform is there to establish clarity and a collective understanding of the potential that blockchain technology possesses for the facilitation and development of waqf assets on a global scale, whilst promoting new economy alternatives to enhance Muslim unity,” he said.

IWBF 2018 saw the official signing of five key Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between Finterra Technologies and IIUM, The Haj Committee of Rajasthan, CLMV Holding (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Masyi and NanoMalaysia Bhd.