Survey reveals high penetration and adoption of crypto in Saudi Arabia
76 percent of Saudi Arabian crypto investors have less than a year of experience in the industry, half of which started trading in the last six months
By Shashank Bhardwaj
As of May 2022, 3 million Saudi Arabians, which form 14 percent of the adult population aged between 18 and 60, were either current owners of crypto assets or had traded them in the previous six months, a survey by KuCoin exchange revealed.
Another 17 percent of those surveyed were classified as ‘crypto-curious’ and are likely to make an investment in crypto assets in the coming six months. According to the study, potential crypto traders in Arab countries have a long-term interest. 49 percent of crypto investors in the first quarter of 2022 planned to raise their holdings during the next six months.
As the bearish market continues in the second quarter of 2022, investor attitudes have switched to favour more cautious crypto investing strategies. 31 percent of crypto asset owners in Saudi Arabia stated they would not increase the balance of their holdings. Investors with lower incomes reportedly decreased part of their holdings during the same period.
The survey report further stated that 63 percent of crypto investors are men in demographics. The gender divide has not changed over time. A third of all crypto investors are under 30, which increased to 37 percent in Q2 2022.
"42 percent of Saudi crypto investors say they plan to use the profits to improve their families' living conditions. Other goals include buying a new house, saving for retirement or emergency fund, and spending on other enjoyments such as travelling and shopping. In addition, 15 percent of crypto investors hope to live on the income from a crypto investment to be spared from work.”
The survey added, “Many are using the gains from crypto investment to grow their portfolio and reinvest, especially male crypto investors. 29 percent of crypto investors plan to start their businesses with gains, and 28 percent intend to reinvest the money into the financial market."
The survey results demarcated that the only type of crypto trading that some Arab theologians deem halal is spot trading, which is done by half of the investors using fiat currency once a month. Saudi Arabia is a significant market for digital currencies due to the strong penetration and adoption of cryptos there, showing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region's potential for growth.
Although the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not yet made any official legislation regarding crypto assets, the administration seems to have adopted a positive attitude toward digital assets and blockchain technology.
A digital currency named Aber was unveiled in 2019 by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAECB) and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). Aber is backed by the respective fiat currencies of the two nations and will be used for cross-border transactions between them.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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