In an August 12 announcement, Saudi Arabia’s Standing Committee for Awareness on Dealing in Unauthorized Securities Activities in the Foreign Exchange Market declared digital currency trading to be illegal “inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” The committee statement cited issues with security, regulatory concerns, and market risks as reasons for its warning:
“The standing committee warns against trading in the digital currencies or what is known as virtual currency for their negative consequences and high risks on traders as they are out of government supervision. The committee assured that virtual currency including, for example but not limited to, the Bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices. The committee warns all citizens and residents about drifting after such illusion and get-rich scheme 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.”
The Standing Committee was created by supreme decree from relevant authorities, including the Capital Market Authority (CMA), Ministry of Ministry of Interior membership, Ministry of Media, Ministry of Commerce and Investment, and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), Its mandate covers unauthorized securities, as well as attempts to limit Saudi citizens’ exposure to cryptocurrency risks.