OpenNode, a provider of Bitcoin infrastructure, will test its payment processing and payouts platform in Bahrain, within a regulatory sandbox maintained by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

US-based OpenNode has been authorised to participate in the new regulatory sandbox framework, which enables FinTech firms to test their ideas and solutions in the kingdom.

"By introducing the infrastructure for bitcoin-based transactions, OpenNode intends to bring payment innovation to Bahrain in what promises to be the start of something big," OpenNode said in a statement.

Afnan Rahman, chief executive and co-founder and co-founder of OpenNode, said: "This is a watershed moment for the people of Bahrain, the Middle East and the Bitcoin economy as a whole. OpenNode's leading Bitcoin infrastructure solution continues to pave the way for countries, governments and reputable financial institutions to adopt the Bitcoin standard and transact on the lightning network."

OpenNode operates in more than 160 countries, providing businesses with easy ways to integrate the processing of Bitcoin payments.

Dalal Buhejji, executive director of investment development for financial services at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: "As a country, we have always been ahead of the curve in adopting Fintech solutions thanks to our regulator's flexibility and forward thinking. Financial services is an important sector within our economy, and fintech platforms such as the one soon to be tested by OpenNode are essential to ensure we continue to innovate while simultaneously adhering to best regulatory measures."

In Februrary, OpenNode closed a $20 million Series A funding round led by UK firm Kingsway at a $220 million valuation. The other participants in the funding included Twitter, venture capital investor Tim Draper and Avon Ventures.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Anoop Menon)