Media reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has been working on its own cryptocurrency for a while now. Indeed, the oil-rich Kingdom kicked off the project after signing a bilateral agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Currently, the details of the cryptocurrency project are still sketchy.
But Saudi authorities hinted that it will launch in 2019. Well, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA), the Kingdom’s investment watchdog, say that its officials are working against the clock in that regard.
Details of the project
SAMA’s head Mohsen Al Zahrani points out that they are developing the project in collaboration with the UAE. On the other hand, the Saudi Press Agency broke the news, noting that the Saudi authorities have yet to provide full details of the virtual currency. On his part, Mubarak Al-Mansouri, the governor of the Central Bank of the UAE gave a hint. Speaking to journalists, Al-Mansouri disclosed that the cryptocurrency is in the design phase.
Al-Mansouri noted that they are waiting for the Kingdom to provide details regarding the project formation. The apex bank governor further hinted that their ability to meet the deadline depends on the Kingdom’s response to their request. With all hands on the deck, the mid-2019 launch date is sacrosanct, he added.
Cryptocurrency in Saudi Arabia
Cryptocurrency adoption in the Middle East has faced a myriad of challenges in the past. Now, Saudi Arabia, an influential country in the region, is taking a bold step to launch its cryptocurrency. The oil-rich conservative Kingdom promises to open up its country for companies to move in as the price of crude oil continues to plummet. Earlier, blockchain-based banking service provider, Ripple, expanded its operations to the country. Essentially, this means that Saudi Arabia-based banks and financial service providers can now take advantage of Ripple tech-based products to enhance their operations.
Consequently, the Kingdom’s National Commerce Bank has already joined RippleNet as a member. In addition, Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority has deployed Ripple technology.
Similarly, the banks are adopting the technology to enhance their cross-border payment mechanism to and from the Kingdom. No doubt, when it comes to experimenting with new technologies, Saudi Arabia is the clear leader in the region.
Cryptocurrency market and Saudi crypto
To many crypto enthusiasts, this move will come as a surprise given the bear market. However, this development shows that the success of Bitcoin hasn’t gone unnoticed. In all probability the Kingdom is launching its national cryptocurrency to take advantage of the benefits the new currency offers.
According to reports, SAMA is expediting a feasibility study on the project in order to determine the actual functions the cryptocurrency will offer.
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