Arab Advisors Group
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Tackling digital currency: a governmental perspective in MENA
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A new report from Arab Advisors Group provides an overview of cryptocurrency regulations and the implementation of national digital currency in the Arab World. It also provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of cryptocurrency and national digital currency. According to Arab Advisors Group’s comprehensive surveys in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, a minority of respondents who are aware of cryptocurrency in the three countries are willing to buy them. The surveys also revealed that safety concern is the main reason for respondents who are aware of cryptocurrency to not consider buying them.

Cryptocurrency has become a highly controversial topic over the past couple of years. The volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, along with the lack of regulations regarding their use has pushed many countries to hold a vigilant stance towards them. Instead, national digital currencies are becoming the new hype.

“According to Arab Advisors Group’s report, cryptocurrency in the MENA region is still considered underserved. Due to the fact that cryptocurrency is not regulated by a central bank or any specific entity, 5 Arab countries have implicitly banned cryptocurrencies, while others warned against their use. Among the analyzed 15 Arab countries, only two countries have taken a positive approach with a prospect to issue a legal framework for cryptocurrencies. According to Arab Advisors Group’s surveys, the awareness of cryptocurrency is fair in Jordan and the UAE, where as in Saudi Arabia it is relatively low. Arab Advisors Group’s surveys revealed that Bitcoin is the most known type of cryptocurrency in the three countries.” Mrs. Dalia Haddad, Lead Research Analyst at Arab Advisors Group stated in the report.

“Governments see the potential in cryptocurrencies but they also believe it poses high risk to individuals. Consequently, national digital currencies are becoming the appropriate alternative. Through the implementation of national digital currencies, governments are able to reap the benefits of cryptocurrencies, however in a regulated form. As of May 2019, two Arab countries have already launched a national digital currency and four Arab countries have established plans to issue one.” Ms. Lana Malkawi added.

This new report “The State of Cryptocurrency and National Digital Currency in the Arab World” was released to Arab Advisors Group’s Strategic Research Service subscribers on July 28, 2019. This report can be purchased from Arab Advisors Group for US$ 3,000. The 47-page report, which has 45 detailed exhibits, provides an overview of cryptocurrency regulations and the implementation of national digital currency in the Arab World. The report covers fifteen Arab countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE. The report also provides the results of comprehensive surveys on the awareness of cryptocurrency in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. The Cryptocurrency Awareness Survey in Jordan yields a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 6%. The survey targeted respondents residing in Jordan. The total sample of 514 respondents was contacted through the phone. The Cryptocurrency Awareness Survey in Saudi Arabia yields a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 4%. The survey targeted respondents residing in Saudi Arabia. The total sample of 1,113 respondents was contacted through the phone. The Cryptocurrency awareness survey in the UAE yields a confidence level of 99% with a margin of error of less than 6%. The survey targeted respondents residing in the UAE. The total sample of 502 respondents was contacted through the phone. All respondents passed rigorous quality control checks. Quality control was conducted by Arab Advisors Group’s team. The surveys measure the awareness of cryptocurrency in the three countries. The surveys further provide the familiarity of cryptocurrency types. They also provide insights on the willingness to buy cryptocurrency.  

Arab Advisors Group’s new report answers the following questions:

• What opportunities can cryptocurrency unlock and what are the drawbacks?

• What are the reasons behind the controversy around cryptocurrency?

Can national digital currencies serve as an alternative to cryptocurrencies?

What is the stance of governmental entities in the MENA region towards cryptocurrency?

• In which Arab countries do national digital currencies top the strategic agenda?

Please contact Arab Advisors Group for more details or to get a copy of the report's Table of Contents.

The purchase of this report will count towards an annual Strategic Research Service subscription.

Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region produced over 5,262 reports on the Arab World’s communications, media and financial markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s (www.arabadvisors.com) Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom).

To date, Arab Advisors Group serves over 930 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients. Some of our clients can be viewed on http://www.arabadvisors.com/clients/a

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