- Former Accenture executive Mohsen AlZahrani has been hired by Saudi Arabia’s central bank to manage its cryptocurrency and CBDC initiatives.
- Despite concerns over the asset class’ volatile nature, Saudi Arabia is seeking legal rules for it.
In a sign of the Gulf nation’s prospective interest in cryptocurrencies, Saudi Arabia’s banking regulator recently named Mohsen AlZahrani to head its virtual assets and central bank digital currency initiative.
Officials in Saudi Arabia have expressed concerns about the speculative nature of virtual assets, leading to a more cautious stance up to this point.
However, those familiar with the situation indicated that Riyadh now feels some need to draft more official restrictions for the asset class as the neighboring UAE becomes a global center for cryptocurrencies.
According to the sources, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential, AlZahrani, a former managing director at the consulting Accenture, reports to Ziad Al Yousef, the deputy governor for development and technology at the Central Bank.
They claimed to be a part of a team in Riyadh that is discussing upcoming laws with some of the largest cryptocurrency companies in the world.
As part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to transform the nation’s capital city into a worldwide center, Saudi Arabia has been pressuring companies to expand their presence in Riyadh.
Riyadh barred banks from conducting cryptocurrency transactions in 2018, yet there are still ways to trade.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, regional financial institutions have recently reinforced the limits in correspondence with clients.
The largest companies in the sector, such as Binance Holdings Ltd., have staffed up their Saudi teams because they believe the country will have a sizable emerging market if the existing limitations are relaxed.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most popular countries for crypto trading, according to a poll conducted by the cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin in May, despite earlier SAMA warnings against trading crypto assets because they are not regulated by the government.
According to the survey, nearly 3 million Saudis, or 14% of the population between the ages of 18 and 60, either presently hold cryptocurrencies or have traded in them over the previous six months.
Netizens never shy away from voicing how they feel about breaking news like such, Saudi’s latest Crypto advancement was welcomed with funny and sarcastic memes.