Malaysia has the potential to become the first nation in the world to set up a global “Waqf” bank using blockchain technology, expounded Hamid Rashid, the Founder of FINTERRA.
He went on to say that a global Waqf bank would be able to tap into a previously untapped realm of Waqf properties backed charities, investments, and opportunities, adding that he hoped Bank Negara Malaysia would take the lead.
Malaysia has set itself as a thought leader and issuer of Islamic finance/banking instruments globally, since the early 2000. It is only logical that Malaysian regulators take the lead, in bringing Islamic finance/banking onto a FinTech/Blockchain platform for the masses.
In October 2017, FINTERRA, a technology-based organisation, started operation. In February 2019, during the 2nd Edition of the Islamic Fintech Dialogue 2019 (IFD2019) in Kuala Lumpur, FINTERRA launched its highly anticipated “WAQF Chain”, the world’s first Waqf on the blockchain. The platform is a blockchain-based solution to crowdfund Waqf charity, Islamic investments, and peer-to-peer lending.
Hamid said, there had been a few initiatives in Indonesia and the Middle East for a global Waqf bank, but none had taken off as a global bank, serving the masses.
He further stated that a global Waqf bank could complement existing financial institutions or Sharia-compliant banks such as Bank Mualamat, Bank Islam and other commercial banks with services that are compliant with Sharia.
Explaining about FINTERRA WAQF Chain, Mr. Hamid stated that WAQF Chain will help banks and institutions set up accounts and work on its system. Those banks and financial institutions can then gather deposits from donors. It would be similar to a savings account, that is put aside with the intention of Waqf, and subsequently deployed for the benefit of Waqf development. As a platform built with blockchain, the WAQF Chain would provide absolute transparency for both the donors, and institutions which will increase the confidence of those who wish to donate (fund traceability).
In the next 3 years, FINTERRA aims to reach 10 million global target users, who will become prospective donors on its WAQF Chain platform. Currently with more than 700,000 registered users worldwide, FINTERRA aims to set up offices in the Middle East and Africa in 2019 to accept more users onto its platform and secure new Waqf development funds and projects.
Hamid said that in the past before the end of the Ottoman Empire, Waqf made vast contributions towards the development of Islamic civilization. Now, FINTERRA WAQF Chain is bringing back those glory days and unlocking the full potential of Waqf.
Hj Mazlan Ahmad, FINTERRA’s executive chairman, further added that the beauty of blockchain is in its transparency, security, and traceability features. Hj Mazlan went on to explain whenever donations are made to a cause using the WAQF Chain platform, can be traced until the last mile. FINTERRA’s vision is that there will be a single global Waqf Chain platform in the future. There is a strong need for this social solution. FINTERRA is already a hub for Islamic finance and building the hub for future Waqf financing.
He added that FINTERRA was working closely with local regulators for the planned set up of the Waqf Chain operations.