Saudi Arabia’s central bank has appointed Mohsen AlZahrani to head its virtual assets and central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative.
AlZahrani will report to Saudi Central Bank’s deputy governor for development and technology, Ziad Bander Alyousef.
Currently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is focusing on becoming a global crypto hub, a move not dissimilar to several other countries, with the aim of expanding and developing their economy.
Together with a Riyadh team, AlZahrani and Alyousef will work with some of the largest cryptocurrency companies to decipher rules and regulations.
The UAE has not always been this favourable toward adopting digital currencies in the kingdom.
In 2018, Saudi Arabian regulators issued a statement that voiced cryptocurrency trading as illegal because of its “negative consequences and high risks on the traders as they are out of government supervision”.
However, now it seems the Middle East is playing catch up. In July, Dubai announced its plans to be one of the top 10 cities in the metaverse economy, creating 40,000 virtual jobs and depositing $4bn into the city’s economy.
To date, FTX, Binance, ByBit and Crypto.com have all received regulatory approval to establish themselves in Dubai.
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