UAE’s Al Hilal Bank executes ‘world’s first’ sukuk transaction using blockchain

The size of the deal was $1m, sold by Al Hilal to a private investor

Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank has executed the world’s first sukuk transaction using blockchain technology, it said on Monday.

The Islamic bank used the distributed ledger technology, best known as the underpinning of crypto-currency Bitcoin, to sell and settle in the secondary market a small portion of its $500m five-year sukuk, issued in September.

“Al Hilal Bank is aiming to transform the sukuk market through embracing blockchain and integrating it into their infrastructure, paving the way for innovative digitized Islamic sukuk,” it said.

A bank spokeswoman said the size of the deal was $1m, sold by Al Hilal to a private investor.

Applied to capital raising exercises, blockchain technology is expected to simplify issuance and trading, and also improve regulatory oversight.

The World Bank issued in August the world’s first public bond using only blockchain.

Jibrel Network, a Switzerland-headquartered fintech company with offices in Dubai, was involved in the transaction.