Cryptocurrency Trading Still Illegal In Saudi Arabia

After recent drops in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the government’s central bank felt the need to remind citizens of the risks of trading, both financial and legal.

  • The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) issued a statement yesterday reminding citizens that any dealings with cryptocurrency are still illegal.

    The central bank’s Sunday announcement was issued by the Standing Committee for Awareness on Dealing in Unauthorized Securities Activities in the Foreign Exchange Market.

    In the announcement, the standing committee cautioned the public against using cryptocurrency for trade based on the “negative consequences and high risks on traders as they are out of government supervision.”

    The warning specifically mentions that bitcoin, along with other types of virtual currencies, are illegal in the kingdom.

    It goes on to explain:

    “The committee warns all citizens and residents about drifting after such illusion and get-rich scheme [sic] due to the high regulatory, security and market risks involved, not to mention signing [sic] of fictitious contracts and the transfer of funds to unknown recipients/entities/parties.”

    The announcement does not state what kind of penalties violators would face if caught trading in crypto.

    Though no fan of crypto, SAMA signed a partnership in February with blockchain firm Ripple to use the company’s xCurrent software for cross-border payment settlement. The agreement aligned with the creation of a regulatory sandbox for banks to test Ripple’s technology.

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