UK to become Islamic fintech centre

Islamic financial technology (fintech) companies are aiming to disrupt traditional Islamic banks. Like conventional fintechs, Islamic fintechs face similar challenges dealing with regulatory challenges, hiring and retaining talent, raising funds from investors, acquiring customers and expanding into other regions.

At the Innovate Finance Global Summit held in London last month, Islamic fintech was key topic of discussion at a roundtable hosted by Bahrain Economic Development Board and attended by thought leaders from both Bahrain including the recently launched Fintech Bay accelerator and representatives from the UK Islamic Fintech Panel. The roundtable discussed ways to support the success and development of Islamic fintech companies in the two countries.

Photo credits: Bahrain Economic Development (Innovate Finance Conference)

Innovate Finance is an independent membership association that represents the UK’s global FinTech community. Founded in 2014 and supported by the City of London and Broadgate, Innovate Finance is a not-for-profit that advances the country’s leading position in the financial services sector by supporting the next generation of technology-led financial services innovators.

Considering the UK is second only to Malaysia with the number of Islamic fintechs according to IFN Fintech, it is no surprise that in addition to Bahrain, representatives from Abu Dhabi and Dubai fintech accelerators were exhibiting at the Summit showcasing the opportunities available at their centres for UK fintechs.

This article was first published in Islamic Finance news Volume 15 Issue 17 dated the 25th April 2018.

ICO vs IPO – How do they compare?

I’ve participated in IPOs and recently ICO’s and felt investors needed to better understand the key differences between the two especially as cryptocurrency mania sweeps the world.

So let’s begin with an ICO which stands for an initial coin offering. A coin often referred to as a cryptocurrency gives the owner of that coin some future utility on a platform which is being built upon Blockchain technology. In future presentations, I’ll go deeper into the mechanics of how a coin is put together and the process by which it comes to market and is listed on a digital exchange where you can trade it just like shares.

IPO or an initial public offering is the traditional form of raising capital from the public by the issuance of shares in a company. Despite ICO funding skyrocketing to almost $5 billion in 2017, it is still a small fraction of the total IPO financings which were a strong $196 billion last year, up 44% from the previous year.

The video presentation below introduces the ICO concept and compares 10 key features of an ICO with a traditional IPO to help investors understand both the opportunity and risks associated with participating in either one.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to purchase securities in any country or jurisdiction. It is not financial or investment advice.