The Saudi Arabian interest in cryptocurrencies has significant room to develop. The Saudi Central Bank has appointed a former Accenture executive to lead its initiatives in blockchain and CBDC. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia used to be more cautious when dealing with cryptocurrencies.
Saudi Arabia is beginning to grasp the potential of digital money after hiring a former managing director from Accenture to push bitcoin adoption. A news publishing house reported that the Saudi Central Bank has hired Mohsen AlZahrani, a former Managing Director at Accenture, to lead its projects in cryptocurrencies.
His LinkedIn page indicates that AlZahrani has been employed by the bank since July. AlZahrani handled the CBDC and cryptocurrency initiatives at the innovation centre while working at the central bank from March 2015 to October 2018.
The news publishing house learned from multiple sources that Riyadh has recently expressed interest in digital assets and has started speaking with the biggest firms in the sector to ascertain the United Arab Emirates’ stance on cryptocurrencies. The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) programme Aber is a component of international cooperation to create digital assets.
Aber is a digital currency trial launched jointly by two national central banks and referred to as a “joint digital currency and distributed ledger” experiment in 2019. The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE), and six commercial banks created the program.
According to unnamed sources, Ziad Al Yousef, the deputy governor for development and technology at the Central Bank, now supervises AlZahrani, a former managing director at the consultancy firm Accenture. They claimed to be a part of a group meeting in Riyadh to discuss the potential legislation with important bitcoin companies.
Saudi Arabia’s banking regulator has chosen Mohsen AlZahrani to lead the country’s virtual assets and central bank digital currency effort, in a move that indicates the Gulf state’s future crypto ambitions. According to the source, Al Zahrani and Al Yousef are members of a team in the Saudi capital of Riyadh that has been in touch with major bitcoin companies on impending laws.
Saudi Arabian officials, who have so far adopted a more cautious stance, have expressed concerns about the speculative character of virtual assets. However, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Riyadh is under pressure to create official laws for the asset class as a result of the United Arab Emirates’ rise as a major centre for cryptocurrencies.
Requests for comment from SAMA representatives were not answered. As part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s aim to turn Riyadh into a global hub, Saudi Arabia has been encouraging companies to expand their presence there. It has engaged directly with Dubai, the Gulf’s commercial centre.
The kingdom is a sizable market for Middle Eastern companies because of its robust economy and relatively wealthy citizens. There are still ways to trade despite Riyadh’s 2018 ban on bank-based bitcoin transactions. According to experts, local banks recently increased limits on how they can communicate with their clients.