The Saudi Arabian central bank has reportedly appointed Mohsen Al Zahrani as the lead of the bank’s virtual assets and digital currency project. Officials in Saudi Arabia have been forced to regulate cryptocurrency after the UAE emerged as the crypto-hub.
Saudi Arabia’s Changing Position on Crypto
A report claims that the Saudi Arabian central banking has appointed Mohsen al Zahrani as its head of virtual assets and digital currencies. Al Zahrani was appointed by the Saudi Arabian central bank, per the report. This is a sign that the country that banned cryptocurrency four years ago, seems to have changed its mind.
It also happens at a moment when many Saudis, along with their counterparts in the region embrace cryptocurrencies. According to Bitcoin.com News, 54% of Saudi citizens see cryptocurrency not just as an investment but also believe it should be used for currency. A second study revealed that only 14% of Saudis were active crypto traders and had traded over the last six months.
Besides Saudi residents’ adoption of cryptocurrencies, a Bloomberg report citing unnamed sources said authorities in Riyadh may have been forced to contemplate formally regulating cryptocurrencies by the neighboring United Arab Emirates (UAE).
UAE is now the most popular destination for blockchain and crypto startups looking to expand their operations in the region. Several international cryptocurrency exchange platforms, such as Binance or FTX, have been given licenses that allow them to work in the country. These factors might have contributed to Saudi authorities considering formal regulation of cryptocurrencies, according to the report.
In addition to Al Zahrani’s appointment, the sources cited in the Bloomberg report suggested that Saudi Arabia has a team working with unnamed global crypto firms regarding the development of future cryptocurrency regulations.
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