Saudi Arabia’s central bank has appointed Mohsen AlZahrani, a former managing director at consultancy firm Accenture, to head its virtual assets and central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative, Bloomberg reported.
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- With the United Arab Emirates aiming to be a global crypto hub, Saudi Arabia is looking to have formal regulations for the asset class despite reservations regarding its speculative nature, according to unidentified sources Bloomberg quoted in its report.
- AlZahrani reports to Ziad Bander Alyousef, Saudi Central Bank’s deputy governor for development and technology, and together with a team in Riyadh, they are engaging with some of the largest cryptocurrency companies on regulations, Bloomberg reported.
- Binance Holdings Ltd. has hired people for Saudi Arabia, as it recognizes potential in the region if current restrictions are relaxed, the report said.
- Saudi Arabian regulators had issued a statement in 2018 clarifying that cryptocurrency trading is illegal in the kingdom due to “their negative consequences and high risks on the traders as they are out of government supervision.”
- Meanwhile, Emirati state Dubai announced in July its plans to be one of the top 10 cities globally in the metaverse economy, creating 40,000 virtual jobs and adding US$4 billion to the city’s economy in five years.
- Already, crypto companies like Binance, FTX, Crypto.com and Bybit have received approvals to set up bases in Dubai.
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