A new digital exchange aims to attract listings from sharia-compliant financial technology startups, its chief executive said, part of a growing number of firms looking to modernize Islamic finance with cryptocurrency and blockchain at the heart of proceedings.
The exchange, known as Huulk, has applied for a digital exchange license in Malta and hopes to partner with several European exchanges in the coming weeks, Huulk chief executive Ibrahim Mohammed said.
In comments to CCN, a source who specializes in Islamic Finance said that this was a hugely important development that should revolutionize the world of crypto and blockchain as far as investment from the Muslim world was concerned. CCN has previously reported on the use of Stellar Lumens as a cryptocurrency in Islamic Finance.
The proposed partnership would allow the exchange, part of the OneGram Group of companies, to host trades of digital assets as well as stocks and commodities. Malta’s Bianchi Holdings Limited would be an equity partner in the exchange, Mohammed said. Bianchi Holdings Chairman Michael Bianchi is also involved in other blockchain and cryptocurrency ventures in tandem with Binance which is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the form of Founders Bank, which is currently applying for a license to operate in Malta.
Cryptocurrency firms are increasingly teaming up with traditional exchanges to attract more business, but Huulk is also trying to tap into religiously-sensitive Muslim investors.
The exchange is aiming to list around 20 Islamic fintech firms, some of which operate in Muslim-majority countries like Turkey and Malaysia, Mohammed said.
OneGram also plans to list its own sharia-compliant cryptocurrency on the exchange by mid-September. OneGram has sold around $400 million in gold-backed tokens over the past year.
Several financial technology firms, or fintechs, have developed sharia-compliant products to help broaden their footprint to include growth markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The market appears to be buoyant in this sector with billions of dollars in capital expected to flow in over the next few years.
Last year, New York-based Wahed Invest launched a sharia-compliant robo-advisor and in July California-based Stellar received certification from Islamic scholars for its blockchain platform and related cryptocurrency.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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