The Dawn of the New Blockchain Ecosystem

Permissionless Blockchain: Algorand

Algorand is a ground breaking blockchain with the power to settle transactions in a few seconds…one that is publicly available for anyone to audit, use, and build their transactions upon.

Today, they are celebrating our certification of their Dutch auctioning mechanism and consensus algorithm. Our approval will allow entrepreneurs, small businesses and large banks seeking applications that are compliant with Sharia finance guidelines to celebrate the platform together by developing new products across this canvas. But the celebration doesn’t end there. While the platform processes its algorithmic smart-contracts on who owns which digital assets in a faster, cheaper and easier way. What truly sets Algorand apart is its ability to allow individuals to create, build and grow new ecosystems based on ownership records made public by the blockchain. Simply put, you can create your own applications that are compliant with Sharia finance guidelines side-by-side with others from around the world in this permissionless blockchain.

We want to inspire a new generation of individuals and institutions around the world to think and design investment solutions in a manner that is compliant with Sharia finance guidelines to help unlock new business opportunities that did not exist before. We’re excited to be able to extend the celebration and give you a new way to share your ideas.

The best way to experience this canvas is to discover it for yourself.

Hope to see you at Algorand!

*A blockchain is permissionless if anyone is able to join. Algorand is a permissionless blockchain that requires minimal computational power to join. All users who possess Algos, and are online, are automatically eligible to participate in block consensus.  A blockchain is permissioned if joining and participating requires proper authorization.
Algorand Foundation Announces Sharia Certification for Islamic Financial Markets Inclusivity

Algorand Foundation Announces Sharia Certification for Islamic Financial Markets Inclusivity

The Algorand Foundation, the organization that oversees the Algorand blockchain platform delivering speed and scalability for frictionless finance, today announced that the network is certified for Sharia compliant financing.

The Algorand Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling the global promise of blockchain technology by leveraging the public, permissionless, and open source Algorand blockchain to create an inclusive ecosystem that provides an opportunity for everyone to harness the potential of an equitable and truly borderless economy.

Recognizing the importance that the Islamic financial markets bring to the global economy, the foundation enlisted the Shariya Review Bureau (SRB) as an independent Sharia Advisor to ensure the network complies with the critical procedures of Sharia compliant financing..

“I am pleased to hear of this certification by the Algorand Foundation and SRB to ensure that the Algorand network is available to be used by all,” said Steve Kokinos, CEO of Algorand.  “Our vision at Algorand has always been inclusivity. With the rapid growth of the Islamic financial markets, I am excited that forward-thinking Islamic enterprises will now be able to realize new business opportunities on a platform that is congruent to their finance guidelines.”

Algorand’s ecosystem has been growing substantially since launching in June of 2019. With the Sharia certification, Algorand is open to Islamic institutions using the platform for economic exchange and beyond.   While each decentralized application built on Algorand will need to be evaluated and vetted for Sharia compliance financing, the Algorand Foundation is retaining the expertise of SRB and is committed to remaining Sharia compliant as new innovation is rolled out on the platform for the financial markets.

Headquartered in Bahrain and licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Shariyah Review Bureau (“SRB”) has been serving the Islamic financial markets for well over 14 years. With scholars spanning 19 countries its Sharia certification and Sharia audit services are recognized globally. Apart from serving Islamic banks, Takaful firms, asset management institutions it has also been actively engaged with fin-techs like Beehive, Stellar, Raqamyah and Wethaq across variant asset classes. From certifying technologies used in P2P lending, to digitally monetizing undeveloped oil reserves, tokenizing revenue shares of digital assets in luxury hotel real-estates and approving ‘smart contracts’ under the disruptive settlement framework of a Sukuk platform. SRB has been helping entities unlock a new perspective on the future of technology using Islamic financial modalities.

“We are thrilled by technical achievement of the Algorand blockchain and a future of truly scalable and secure blockchain that will serve as a platform for Islamic financial markets to enter the newly emerging borderless economy.,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, Founder and CEO of SRB. “We are now ready to help institutions seeking to build Islamic transactions on the network have access to expertise required for attaining Sharia compliance in their business facilities.” Yasser added, “High quality Sharia supervisory services are critical to our business and we stand ready to support the future ambitions of the users of Algorand in the Islamic financial market.”

Al Etihad insurance to deliver high impact Sharia compliant products

Al Etihad insurance to deliver high impact Sharia compliant products

One of Saudi Arabia’s largest insurance company, Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Company (Al Etihad), with a paid-up capital of SAR 400 million, announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau, which provides an array of Sharia certification and Sharia audit services to the insurance, banking asset management industries.

The new assignment enables Al Etihad to focus its resources and expertise on the rapidly-growing Sharia compliant insurance sector of the Kingdom. “We continue to witness exceptional opportunities in all classes of insurance  with new players across broadening business areas of the Kingdom’s geographical exposure,” says Hussam Abdul Aziz Al Kannas, Chief Executive Officer at Al Ethiad. “Our clients are rapidly transitioning into national players in the Kingdom and Sharia compliance is of paramount importance to our customer base.” “This is the right time to invest in Sharia supervisory infrastructure to address the challenges posed by this dynamic growth,” he adds. ” That’s why we have decided to tie-up with the country’s leading Sharia Advisory firm to ensure we are hundred percent focused on delivering cooperative insurance solutions in compliance with Sharia.”

“The focus on Sharia compliance is a great opportunity to accelerate the growth of our insurance business,” noted Ahmad Omar, Chief Financial Officer at Al Etihad. “We understand how to build and maintain all classes of insurance policies but can benefit from a strategic partner that can help navigate our developments in light of Sharia principles.  SRB has a lot of experience in the cooperative insurance and Takaful sector and can really help us successfully pursue our ambitious goals.”

Whether a company requires product based certifications, full Sharia Board service, on premise Sharia audit solution, or simply wishes to outsource the Sharia compliance management and hosting of their entire review, certification, consultation and Sharia audit functions; Shariyah Review Bureau’s services are designed to accommodate any of these scenarios. Furthermore, leveraging SRB’s scholarly network covering 19 countries, companies gain extensive insight in scholarly resources, ensuring they have the important information on Sharia design and practices when they need it.

“More and more institutions are outsourcing their Sharia Board and Sharia audit processes to us as it helps them lower costs, improve performances and focus on core business competencies,” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO at SRB. “This is because our services are designed to offer greater budget flexibility without any compromise on quality while mitigating the shortage of skill and Sharia expertise in the relevant domain.” Yasser added: “We are delighted to be working with Al Etihad and to help lead their insurance development effort in the Kingdom. We look forward to developing as well as strengthening the Sharia compliance make-up of their products, investments and systems.”

Full Testimonial

Stellar is a multi-currency payment backend that tens of thousands of people use every day. It’s decentralized, open-source, and developer-friendly, so anyone can issue assets, settle payments, and trade. Stellar is a  blockchain, but it works more like cash—Stellar is much faster and cheaper than bitcoin, for example. And it uses far less electricity.

www.stellar.org.

 

 

Lisa C. Nestor, Director of Partnerships,
Stellar Development Foundation

Our experience working with the Shariyah Review Bureau was excellent. They were clear in outlining their process, diligent in their review and it was an absolute pleasure working with their team. The certification process itself was quick and highly customized. The SRB team did a great job independently reviewing our public documentation and open-source code. And once the certification was complete, they were great partners in executing a press and marketing strategy so we could get this news in front of managers and executives who would care, at financial institutions around the globe.

What impressed me about Shariyah Review Bureau was their ability to deeply understand the novelties of Stellar’s blockchain ledger, things like our consensus and asset issue design, and then apply Sharia principles to this totally new technology. I think that’s a rare skill in the market and takes exceptional talent.

I would recommend SRB to any technology company that wants to offer products and services to the Islamic Finance industry, or any financial institution that’s looking for guidance in understanding how blockchain technology, including specific ledgers and asset classes, operates within the principles of Islamic law.

Building the next horizon of P2P asset class

P2P Financing: Raqamyah

The growth of sustainable P2P financing has brought this crowd-funding technology at the core of a financial revolution. Not surprisingly, these platforms have fast become a source of highly attractive long-term revenues. It’s with this in mind that Raqamyah is helping Islamic funders capture this opportunity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Here’s what they are planning to do.

They’re securing the financial technology that can help bring funding solutions to SMEs directly from funders. The platform will act as an intermediary providing an online marketplace to the Peer to Peer participants looking for sustainable funding criteria. By managing rich specialized SME assets with large-scale opportunities via its algorithmic based credit assessment and risk profiling techniques, Raqamyah is seeking to help both parties at the end of the capital spectrum create an ambient experience. Progress in all areas of development is accelerating, and we are at a seminal moment of certifying this inspiring platform.

Today, more and more institutions and governments are realizing the value of P2P asset classes. The opportunities are even greater when we harness the powers of Commodity Murabaha to make them available to the broader community of Sharia compliant funders. Imagine what we could do if we work together and use this asset class to expand cost-effective FinTech solutions to SME’s worldwide!

Soon, the spin-off effects will appear on the horizon, and we hope to bring this revolution to more funding’s around the world!

Saudi based Peer-to-Peer Funding Platform Raqamyah signs with Shariyah Review Bureau

Saudi based Peer-to-Peer Funding Platform Raqamyah signs with Shariyah Review Bureau

Raqamyah, the Kingdom’s Peer to Peer funding platform, announced the assignment of Shariyah Review Bureau, to manage the Sharia compliance affairs of its crowd-funding technology.

Ammar Bakheet, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Raqamyah, said, “It is high-time for the  Kingdom’s financial sector to explore opportunities offered by fin-tech firms to serve the SME’s segment.” “At Raqamyah we are proactively looking to augment our capabilities in developing faster ways of connecting funders with SME’s and also enact the spectrum of SAMA’s regulations in the Kingdom.”

Speaking about Sharia compliance Mr. Ammar added, “For us, Sharia compliance is instrumental in achieving success. This proposition can help enhance Islamic values by challenging the way a financial transaction is formulated, and providing Sharia assurance to our stakeholders.”

Mr. Ammar further stated, “We are delighted to have a globally recognized Sharia advisory firm like Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB) managing our Sharia compliance affairs. Their addition is expected to significantly enhance our capabilities in positioning our fin-tech firm for further growth. We expect SRB to complement and enhance our existing Sharia control functions, allowing us to provide superior Islamic financial services to our customers.”

Shariyah Review Bureau, founded in 2004 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and licensed by Central Bank of Bahrain in 2007 provides Sharia advisory services from setting up Sharia Boards to Sharia certification and Sharia audits to over 100 financial institutions including fin-tech firms. “We believe in bringing a well-balanced approach of examination, verification and testing in our Sharia compliance management so as to operate in an increasingly complex Islamic financial environment” said Yasser S. Dahlawi, CEO and Founder of SRB.

Speaking on the engagement with Raqamyah, Yasser commented, “Being assigned by Raqamyah allows us to become the preeminent choice of Sharia Advisor for P2P firms seeking to offer its crowd-funding opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Yasser ended by stating, “Our Sharia advisory services are well positioned to address the critical and complex Sharia control requirements needed by fin-tech firms to offer Sharia compliant versions of their products and also meet the robust expectations of the regulated Islamic industry in which we operate.”

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