Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced they will introduce a joint cryptocurrency.
The two Middle-Eastern economic powerhouses say the cryptocurrency will be launched on an “experimental basis” and is restricted to trading between banks in both countries, reports Al Arabiya.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al Tuwaijri said the recent agreement – which also carried a number of other economic measures – marked a breakthrough in relations between the two nations.
He said: “The Council was established to create an exceptional model in cooperation relations between the two brotherly countries, and to seek to strengthen the ties of interdependence and develop them, and to support the development opportunities of the two countries economically, in human development and in terms of knowledge and to boost them.
“This places great tasks upon us, which we are honoured to carry out, and we strive to achieve them in the fullest possible manner.”
“The UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are two major economic powers, with their economies valued at more than $1.2 trillion,” said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy for the UAE.
Saudi Arabia previously ruled that the trading of “unauthorised” cryptocurrencies is illegal.
A statement published by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) in August said: “Virtual currency including, for example but not limited to, 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 illusions and get rich schemes 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.”