Crypto is playing an important role in the vast financial landscape of Saudi Arabia.
Mohsen Al Zahrani, a former managing chief at Accenture, has been chosen by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to spearhead its digital assets and central bank digital currency development.
The appointment of Al Zahrani is indicative of the Gulf state’s apparent aspirations in the field of digital currencies, as the Kingdom takes tentative moves toward adopting virtual assets, Bloomberg reported.
The growth of a global crypto center in the United Arab Emirates has spurred “some urgency” in its capital city of Riyadh to craft more official guidelines for the asset class, sources said.
Al Zahrani will report to Ziad Al Yousef, the Central Bank’s Deputy Governor for development and technology, according to sources who wished to remain unnamed because the topic is confidential.
Crypto Expert In Collaboration With Global Companies
Al Zahrani and Al Yousef are members of a Riyadh-based team collaborating with some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency firms on future laws.
Saudi Arabia is a major market for digital currencies due to its high level of crypto adoption and market penetration, indicating the region’s growth potential.
According to a survey done by the cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin, about 3 million Saudi Arabians have become virtual currency investors who, as of May this year, either possess or have traded bitcoin and related asset types over the prior six months.
Bloomberg stated that SAMA representatives did not reply to calls for comment, and that the Kingdom has been pressuring companies to grow their presence in the capital city as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to transform Riyadh into a global crypto destination.
Saudi’s Growing Number Of Digital Currency Investors
“This has posed a direct challenge to Dubai, the business hub of the Gulf,” according to the report, adding that the Saudi government has been working with the UAE for several years on a prospective unified digital currency.
In July of this year, Dubai revealed its plans to become one of the world’s top 10 cities in the metaverse economy, creating 40,000 virtual employment and adding $4 billion to the city’s economy over the next five years.
In 2019, SAMA and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates jointly introduced the Aber digital currency. The cryptocurrency will be used for international transactions between the two countries and will be backed by their respective fiat currencies.
Meanwhile, around 51% of Saudi investors viewed cryptocurrencies as the future of finance, while 44% said the asset class would offer greater long-term returns than traditional investment kinds.
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