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Saudi Arabia’s central bank (SAMA) should have no involvement with crypto-assets, as many people who deal with crypto are criminals, said its governor. He also called regulators to catch up in regulating cryptocurrencies.

Fahad Al Mubarak, head of Saudi Arabia’s central bank, claimed there would be no smashing of the banking system by digital currencies, such as Bitcoin. Instead, SAMA should expand a centralized system for regulating the tender, he claimed at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh.

The SAMA governor noted that regulators are still playing catch-up when it comes to how cryptocurrencies should be governed.

Hussain Abdulla, co-CEO of Qatar-based investment bank QInvest, claimed the products were not yet Sharia-compliant, and more understanding was needed.

Abdullah also warned that the Middle East lags far behind the US and Europe when it comes to the digitization of the banking industry, adding: “Winners in the banking industry will be those who take steps today toward digitization rather than later.”

The SAMA governor talked up the rise of online banking during the COVID-19 crisis and noted: “Before the pandemic, only 35% of the transactions were electronic, now it’s around 55%.”

As reported before, Dubai Economy has signed an agreement with leading licensing authorities, such as Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Dubai Multi-Commodities Center, and Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, to participate in the Know Your Customer blockchain platform through the Unified Business Registry Platform. It will allow faster and more secure customer onboarding and avoid crypto crime.


Image source: By Muhammadponce – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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