Saudi Arabia banned the circulation of all unauthorized cryptocurrencies on its territory. It would be nice to understand, what processes forced the Kingdom to take such drastic measures.
The ban was initiated by the Standing Committee of Informing of Trade in Unauthorized Securities in the Foreign Exchange Market (FOREX). The organization is warning all the market participants about high risks connected with the deals in cryptocurrency, its high volatility, and lack of control from financial regulators. According to the Committee’s governing body, all can will affect negatively the well-being of people, “who have fallen into the illusion of rapid enrichment”. And not only organizations but also private persons are banned from managing virtual wallets from the moment this verdict was announced.
By the way, the Standing Committee was established by the High Decree of the king of Saudi Arabia Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud. Representatives of different Ministries joined the Committee: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Information, Trade and Investments, and also the members of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). The leading part in the organization belongs to the representative of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
Such a sharp ban is surprising only at the first glance. In the world, few people remember that Saudi Arabia is a warring nation. For 4 years already there has been a bloody confrontation between Sunnites and the Shiite majority (Houthis) in Yemen. The Middle Eastern monarchy is taking an active part in the conflict on the side of Sunnites against the insurgents, supported by Iran. This armed conflict has an exact aim: not to allow Iran to take the Bab el Mandeb under control, as it is the last safe way of transporting Middle Eastern oil.
By the intensity of military operations, this war exceeds significantly the well-known Syrian conflict. And the stakes are higher.
Many rich Shiites, who give a covert support to Yemen majority, live on the territory of Saudi Arabia. Cryptocurrency is almost the most convenient and the safest way to transfer money to illegal armed groups. For a reason, the document of the Committee places the special emphasis on the danger of false contracts with “an unknown recipient, organization or party”.
The ban on unauthorized digital coins is in many ways a military-strategic initiative; However, Saudi Arabia lives itself a loophole in the form of the concept of “unauthorized”. If there is the unauthorized cryptocurrency, there can be the authorized one, the creation of which the Kingdom is definitely thinking about. It may happen that soon we will hear about the plans of Saudi Arabia to create the national digital monetary unit. The Sunnite state cannot leave the initiative of creating the Middle Eastern crypto market in the hands of Shiites. Moreover, development of digital economy was discussed at the Caspian Forum that finished on August 11 in Aktau (Kazakhstan). Of course, Iran the most active and interested part in the discussion of the crypto market perspectives.
If the cryptocurrency can be an instrument of politics, it will inevitably become an instrument of a war. Not of a computer game, but of a real massacre. The ban on independent digital assets means their acceptance.
Today, the daily over-the-counter turnover of bitcoins reaches $2 billion. How much is spent on war? Who benefits from these conflicts? What is everybody fighting for? No one will give an honest answer to these questions.
But the truth is, most likely, that the global war for resources is running. For oil that is the guarantee of power, influence, and huge capitals. And everybody is on his own side in this fight. America wants to sell its slate oil, which is far from being cheap, and cooperation with the Saudis has stopped being beneficial to it. Iran needs levers of influence on Middle Eastern monarchies to sell its resources as profitably as possible. Saudi Arabia needs the control over the straits to make the transportation of its black gold cheaper.
That is how the cryptocurrency has become the part of this big game, and that is confirmed by the decision of the Saudi regulator.