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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Riyadh - Bandar Al-Mosalam

Saudi Arabia Seeks to Accelerate Development of Digital Currency

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) is studying the economic impact of the digital currency on the country. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

As the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) said on Monday that it was carrying out experiments with a central bank digital currency and exploring the potential benefits and risks of its use, economists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the local market was ready and enjoyed the ability to deal with the project with high flexibility.

The SPA reported that SAMA was currently studying the economic impact, market readiness, and potentially effective and swift applications for payment solutions using digital currency.

In this context, financial experts said that the project would achieve several goals, including flexibility, accuracy, speed of interaction, development of modern technical concepts and their use in the local market.

Economic Analyst Abdul Rahman Al-Jubeiri told Asharq Al-Awsat that SAMA’s digital currency project reflected an endeavor to upgrade the banking sector and promote digitization.

He also pointed to the unprecedented success achieved by SAMA in the monetary sector, and the flexibility in providing wide packages of digital transactions.

“It is too early to determine the positive dimensions of the project; but after a successful testing phase, it will have an impact on supporting the infrastructure of the sector, enhancing opportunities for creativity and innovation in financial services, and exploring benefits, in addition to the possibility of digital currency contributing to strengthening the payment system, and accelerating digital transformation in the country’s financial sector,” Al-Jubeiri said.

Al-Jubeiri stressed that the Central Bank has not taken any decision regarding the use of the digital currency, but continues its work, focusing on exploring the potential benefits and risks it involves.

For his part, Economist Ahmed Alshehri told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi Arabia was one of the countries that have a high digital readiness to enter into such projects and test their efficiency.

He added that the Saudi economy and trade enjoyed the ability to quickly adapt to new technologies, stressing that the internal market environment was capable of dealing with changes with high flexibility.

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