Saudi Monetary Authority Prohibits “Unauthorized Virtual Currencies”

Citing “negative consequences,” “high risks,” and a lack of “government supervision,” the Saudi Standing Committee for Awareness on Dealing in Unauthorized Securities Activities in FOREX Markets has officially declared, “Unauthorized virtual currencies…illegal inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The announcement came August 12th in the form of “a supreme decree” issued jointly by the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA), the Ministry of Interior Membership, the Ministry of Media, the Ministry of Commerce and the Investment and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

According to the decree, “no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices” as trading bitcoins or other virtual currencies within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As well, in the related release, the Saudi Monetary Authority, “warns all citizens and residents about drifting after such illusion and get-rich scheme(s) due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved, not to mention signing of fictitious contracts and the transfer of funds to unknown recipients/entities/parties.”

A check of the site LocalBitcoins shows that 20 individuals in Saudi Arabia are presently willing to sell Bitcoins in the region, 19 are willing to buy with sellers located in Saudi cities Riyadh, Dammam, Mecca, Jeddah, Al Jubail and Medina.

As well, the site Coindance shows a slight uptick in recent demand for bitcoins bought from LocalBitcoins sellers in the Kingdom though overall trade volumes are still far below those seen when Bitcoin prices hit an all time high of close to $20 000 US in December 2017.

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