Despite the country's proactive and seemingly positive approach to blockchain-based technologies, cryptocurrency trading remains heavily outlawed, officials reiterate.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are illegal
A standing committee, led by the Capital Market Authority in Saudi Arabia Arabia and including representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Information and of the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency, issued a formal statement, reaffirming the illegitimacy of trade with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The warning was issued in a range of websites and social media accounts promoting cryptocurrencies. According to the committee "none of the parties or individuals are authorized for such practices". Furthermore, relationships with cryptocurrencies are outside the reach of the government.
The committee also took the opportunity to outline the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading and to reiterate that they were used for illicit activities. It is worth noting, however, that the relationships of a wide range of governments all over the world show otherwise.
According to a report on organized crime issued by the Financial Services and the Treasury of Hong Kong, cryptocurrencies do not pose a threat. The Quebec government has also discovered that the use of Bitcoin for illicit activities is in decline. The National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom has also established that the amount of cryptocurrencies used for illicit activities is "relatively low".
A bit controversial
While the standing committee is issuing official warnings about the illegality of trade with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the kingdom itself is working on a joint project with the United Arab Emirates on a digital currency for cross-border transactions. Bitcoinist reported that the planned currency will be supported by blockchain technology.
Continuing further, in February 2018, Ripple also entered into an agreement with the central bank of Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the bank will use Ripple – xCurrent business software to easily make cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking.
Why is Saudi Arabia outlawing Bitcoin trading while it is involved in cryptocurrency? Do not hesitate to let us know in the comments below !
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