Bahrain Welcomes Singaporean Family Office to Establish Digital Bank

Bahrain Welcomes Singaporean Family Office to Establish Digital Bank

The Whampoa Group to Establish Digital Bank in Bahrain

The Whampoa Group, a family office based in Singapore, has announced its plans to open a digital bank in Bahrain, as confirmed by the kingdom’s Economic Development Board on May 18. The Group aims to launch the bank by the end of this year and intends to cater to a global client base.

Digital Banking Services

The digital bank will provide a range of digital banking services, including digital asset trading, custody, and management. As per Bloomberg, the Central Bank of Bahrain has granted the bank “in principle approval,” pending the fulfillment of all necessary requirements.

The Whampoa Group and Singaporean Connections

The Whampoa Group is associated with two prominent Singaporean Lee families. It includes Amy Lee, the niece of Singaporean statesman Lee Kuan Yew, and Lee Han Shih of Singaporean multimedia conglomerate Potato Productions.

About Whampoa Digital

Whampoa Digital, established in 2021, is the digital arm of the Whampoa Group. The company was a participant in a $500 million investment fund created by Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of the cryptocurrency exchange, in June 2022. In September, it unveiled its own $100 million venture capital fund to support Web3 startups. Whampoa Digital is also an investor in ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok.

Expansion into the Middle East

A report by Chainalysis published in October revealed that the Middle East and North Africa region has the world’s fastest-growing crypto market. Whampoa Group CEO Shawn Chan stated that the firm chose Bahrain for this initiative due to the country’s solid reputation in the financial services sector, transparent regulatory framework, and ongoing commitment to collaboration and innovation.

Bahrain’s Crypto Landscape

Binance obtained a license to operate in Bahrain in March 2022, and in October, the local payment platform EazyPay partnered with Binance Pay to enable the use of cryptocurrencies at more than 5,000 points of sale in the country. Additionally, Bahrain is home to CoinMENA, a Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency exchange.