QFC launches Digital Assets Lab to transform Qatar’s Digital Landscape

October 31, 2023

On October 29th, The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) launched the QFC Digital Asset Lab in association with The Qatar Central Bank (QCB). The name of the digital asset lab has been announced as ‘QFC Innovation Dome’.

The main theme of this initiative revolves around, ‘Transforming Qatar’s Digital Landscape’.

QCB Governor, Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed Saoud Al Thani, and Minister for Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qasim Al Abdullah Al Thani, were present during the launch.

Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saud Al-Thani said in his opening remarks, “It is my pleasure to be at the launch of the Digital Assets Lab where as a country we are working to discover new tools to increase, enhance our competencies and capabilities in the digital sector. We have achieved strides in digital technology through a number of initiatives chief among them is electronic KYC (Know your Customers) and are working to develop and establish an ecosystem for startups and new companies to enhance the role of KYC.”

This Innovative Dome for digital assets stands as one of the significant digital asset initiatives in both the nation and GCC countries.

The key objectives of Digital Assets Lab include fostering innovation, research, or development within digital assets and distributed ledger technology DLT space. It also aims to establish Qatar as a core hub for digital advancement, promote the growth of the digital economy, and encourage the incorporation of emerging technologies in multiple sectors.

The digital assets lab is aimed at developing platforms and ecosystems for the tokenization of valuable assets, whether they are tangible or intangible assets such as real estate, securities, Sukuk, bonds, and other potential categories in the future. These endeavors will make use of DLT, blockchain, and smart contracts.

DLT is a technology platform that employs interconnected devices to maintain separate ledgers providing secure and accurate data. Yousaf Mohamed Al Jaida, board member and chief executive officer of QFC, briefed DLT is a cutting-edge technology that records transactions and can be scaled to encompass investment opportunities.

Yousaf Mohamed Al Jaida reportedly said, “The digital assets projects leans on three Qatar National strategies, the Qatar National Vision 2030, the Qatar Financial Center strategy and the fintech strategy of the state of Qatar, which aims to make the country a financial commercial hub 2030”.

What is Tokenization?

The process of tokenization involves generating a digital representation of an asset such as real estate, financial assets, intellectual property, or even data and identity, on a private blockchain.

The use of tokenization can be traced back to early days of currency systems, where coin tokens served as substitutes for tangible coins and paper currency, examples include subway tokens and casino tokens.

Yousef Mohamed Al Jaida, CEO of QFC, reportedly explained, tokenization in the first phase will validate ownership, followed by optimizing token usage, and proceeding to develop smart contracts. The corresponding application will control these digital tokens, eventually offering them on secondary markets.