RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s central bank, known as SAMA, has appointed Mohsen AlZahrani to lead its virtual assets and digital currency program as the Kingdom ventures ahead with its potential crypto ambitions.
Bloomberg cited the emergence of the UAE as a global crypto hub as the push that created some urgency in Riyadh to plan more formal rules for the asset class.
The former managing director at Accenture, AlZahrani, will report to the Central Bank’s deputy governor for development and technology, Ziad Al Yousef, Bloomberg added.
Representatives for SAMA didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Last July, a survey by KuCoin exchange revealed that 3 million Saudis, who form 14 percent of the adult population aged between 18 and 60, were either current owners of crypto assets or had traded them in the previous six months, as of May 2022.
Another 17 percent of those surveyed were classified as ‘crypto-curious’ and are likely to make an investment in crypto assets in the coming six months, according to Forbes India.
Last February, a regional Lenovo executive told Arab News that Saudi Arabia will very soon be ranked on a global scale rather than a regional one in terms of technological advancement.
Alaa Bawab, General Manager, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, Middle East & Africa said that the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision puts great emphasis on digitization and utilizing technology.
Speaking in an interview at LEAP, he cited the event as an example of Saudi Arabia’s move to higher participation in technological initiatives.