The Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia has just issued a statement where it warns the local population about investing, trading and using virtual currencies which include cryptocurrencies as well. The MOF says that the currencies are not supported by local financial institutions and therefore are not recognized as legal tender.
The MOF also mentions that cryptocurrencies have been seen involved in fraudulent or scam activities multiple times and therefore do not hold any type of support from local central governments.
The MOF especially wars against crypto Riyals which have recently found themselves on Saudi social media platforms and several websites. The warning states that any loss incurred from investments in the Crypto Riyal will not warrant compensation or legal reaction from local authorities.
This is a major change of heart from Saudi officials, as just recently did we hear about an initiative to bring hundreds of Bitcoin ATMs to the country.
All of these warnings could be directed towards anticipation of an economic recession looming over the global markets. The first field to be hit will be oil, which we all know is one of the primary exports of Saudi Arabia. Due to the massive price fall, the Riyal is guaranteed to suffer, therefore the government could be encouraging the local population to keep their Riyal reserves untouched.
But all of this is just speculation, and whether or not Saudi citizens will listen to the warnings remains to be seen.