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Oil Rich Saudi Arabia Might Turn to Crypto

This is the 4th article in the series which covers the importance of the G20 countries in the global legalization of crypto. 

Saudi Arabia is the most important country in the Middle East. Its supremacy is not just limited to being the cultural capital and having the largest oil reserves.

Important Statistics

Saudi Arabia has a special place in the global arena for the following reasons.

It has the world’s 2nd largest oil reserves at 267 billion barrels, constituting 22.4% of the global reserves according to data from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Moreover, it has the 20th largest economy in the world with a GDP (Nominal) of over $700 billion as per World Bank.

Among the Gulf countries, it has the largest territory and has the strongest military.

This makes it the fulcrum of Middle Eastern geopolitics.

The population of Saudi Arabia is 3.48 crores.

Crypto Scenario in Saudi Arabia

Cryptocurrency is not legal in Saudi Arabia.

But, it does not mean blockchain innovation is lagging there. Saudi Arabia has set its sight on achieving its Vision 2030 program designed for long-term economic development. So financial innovation will be a key factor in achieving it.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) remains wary of crypto. In 2018, it warned citizens against trading virtual currencies, effectively outlawing them.

SAMA Governor, Mr Fahad Al-Mubarak believes crypto will not harm the traditional banking system.

He has called those who deal in crypto as ‘criminals’.

Saudi Arabia has collaborated with the UAE to develop its CBDC.

A report from November 2021 by New York Post reveals that Saudi Arabia might be opening up to crypto. Many crypto entrepreneurs and stalwarts of the financial industry attended the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh.

Right now, its rank in the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index is an abysmal 113th and 91st in Global DeFi Adoption Index. We could see an improvement in it by the end of the decade.

Globally, Governments are trying to move to renewable sources of energy to keep global warming and climate change in check. That’s why they are reducing their dependence on oil. So, the oil-rich countries of the world will be turning towards maximizing their other sources of income.

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