Saudi Arabia’s central bank (SAMA) should have no involvement with crypto-assets as many of those who deal with them are criminals, according to its governor.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Fahad Al Mubarak claimed there would be no smashing of the banking system by digital currencies such as Bitcoin, but instead an expansion of a centralized system for regulating the tender.
Regulators are still playing catch-up when it comes to how crypto-curencies should be governed, he added.
Hussain Abdulla, co-CEO of Qatar-based investment bank QInvest, claimed the products were not yet Sharia-compliant, and more understanding was needed.
Abdulla warned though that the Middle East is lagging way behind the US and Europe when it comes to 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 said: “Before the pandemic only 35 percent of the transactions were electronic, now it’s around 55 percent “