Cryptocurrencies have been gaining popularity all over the world, and Saudi Arabia is no exception. In recent years, more and more Saudis have been turning to Bitcoin and other digital currencies as an investment opportunity, along with stocks ad bonds.
However, buying Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia can be a bit tricky, as there are not many exchanges that accept Saudi Arabian Riyals (SAR). In addition, cryptocurrency regulations in Saudi Arabia are still relatively new and unclear.
In this article, we will talk about buying Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia. We will also discuss the different types of platforms available for Saudi investors to use in their Bitcoin investments.
What is Bitcoin and why should you buy it in Saudi Arabia
Cryptocurrencies, a briefer
Before talking about Bitcoin, we must have a quick background of what it really is – a cryptocurrency. Simply put, cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can be used as a medium of exchange. It is a decentralized digital currency that any government or financial institution does not control. Crypto is also encrypted, making them secure and difficult to counterfeit.
As a digital currency, it is meant to function as a real-life currency without physical money, which made it gain traction throughout the years.
Although countless cryptocurrencies have emerged due to the crypto wave, nothing takes the top spot apart from the first and most well-known cryptocurrency: Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency established by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. It is the most popular among all other cryptocurrencies and has been the go-to investment instrument in the crypto market ever since.
The continuous preference for Bitcoin is mainly due to its high potential for appreciation as the forerunner of cryptocurrencies. However, Bitcoin also had its fair share of significant growth, followed by sharp declines in the past.
If you’re considering investing in Bitcoin, you should be aware that while it has excellent potential to reap great returns, it carries inherent risks from its nature as a cryptocurrency. It is highly volatile, which means that it can easily appreciate in value. However, it can also depreciate just as quickly.
The Saudi Arabian Bitcoin landscape
Bitcoin is still in its infancy in Saudi Arabia, albeit constantly evolving. The Kingdom is slowly opening up to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. While there are currently no regulations for cryptocurrencies, the government is working to introduce them gradually.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) announced that it was working on a regulatory framework for digital currencies. The cryptocurrency community in the country viewed this as a positive step.
Moreover, the Saudi Arabian government announced its first blockchain partnership. The partnership is with the cryptocurrency startup BlockView to develop a blockchain platform for government tenders.
The process of cryptocurrency exchanges is one of the most popular ways to buy Bitcoin. A few exchanges are based in Saudi Arabia, such as BitOasis and Paxful. However, most exchanges that serve the Saudi Arabian market are based in other countries due to the lack of regulations. You can buy Bitcoin with Saudi Riyals on these exchanges.
The future of Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia
The future of Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia is difficult to predict because it is still in its early stages. However, its future appears to be promising as Bitcoin is slowly gaining traction in the country. The Kingdom is starting to warm up to the idea of cryptocurrencies, and more exchanges are starting to serve the Saudi Arabian market.
The government is working on a national cryptocurrency and testing a blockchain-based system for cross-border payments. If these developments lead to more widespread acceptance and adoption of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency market will appreciate in Saudi Arabia, leading to the rise of investors, especially in Bitcoin. In other words, this would lead to an integration of a new investment market in the Kingdom.
But on the other hand, it is also possible that the government will crack down on cryptocurrency, thus making it more challenging to buy and sell Bitcoin. Fiscal policy can adversely influence the proliferation of cryptocurrency by deterring investors and making its value depreciate over time.
With all these, the only certain thing to say is that the future of Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia can only be determined by time.
Other Middle East countries that have Bitcoin-related businesses
There are a number of other countries in the Middle East that have Bitcoin-related businesses. Some of these nations include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Each of these countries has at least one Bitcoin exchange.
The most popular Bitcoin exchange in the United Arab Emirates is BitOasis. BitOasis was founded in 2014 and is based in Dubai. The exchange also has a wallet service that allows users to store their Bitcoin.
Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin
Everything in life has advantages and drawbacks, and so do Bitcoin investments. In this section, we’ll go over the upsides and downsides of investing in Bitcoin.
- No need for a bank account: You don’t need a bank account to buy Bitcoin, which is especially beneficial for those who are unbanked or underbanked.
- No need for an ID: You also don’t need to provide any personal identification when buying Bitcoin, making it an excellent option for those who value privacy.
- Fast and easy transactions: Bitcoin transactions are fast and easy, which makes them convenient for both buyers and sellers.
- Lower fees: Bitcoin transaction fees are generally lower than traditional bank transfer fees, and most often than not, they do not have transaction fees.
- Free reign on prices: Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, so it is not subject to the same financial regulations as traditional fiat currencies. This also means that it is not subject to pricing policies of any authority.
- Diversify portfolio: If you are looking for a way to diversify your investment portfolio, then investing in Bitcoin is a great way to go. Since Bitcoin engages with the cryptocurrency market, it will surely go well with your investments in the stock and bond markets.
- Volatility: The price of Bitcoin is notoriously volatile, which means that it can fluctuate wildly in value. This can make it difficult to predict the price of Bitcoin at any given time and heighten the risks of investing in it.
- Lack of regulatory framework: Bitcoin is not currently regulated by any government or financial authority, so there is no protection for investors if the price of Bitcoin falls. Its decentralized nature also risks monopoly in terms of investments.
- Limited availability: Currently, only a few exchanges and wallets support Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia. This means it can be difficult to find a place to buy Bitcoin and store it safely.
- Prone to scams: There have been numerous scams associated with Bitcoin, including Ponzi schemes and fake ICOs. This is why investors must be knowledgeable and highly vigilant about their Bitcoin transactions.
- Lack of awareness and understanding: Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market are still relatively new compared to other financial markets. Hence, not many are aware or capable of understanding how to trade this asset.
Should you invest in Bitcoin?
The reason why people opt for Bitcoin is because of its independence from banks and other financial institutions. Bitcoin is also transparent and permissionless, meaning that anyone can get involved without needing approval. The transaction is swift and easy with limitless possibilities.
In addition, the cryptocurrency offers a very high degree of security and low transaction fees, depending on the exchange. More than that, Bitcoin is borderless and global, so it can be used by anyone, anywhere. There is free reign in the price, which allows one to maximize their earnings in this investment.
Also, in comparison to other cryptocurrencies in the market, Bitcoin is relatively less risky because of how popular and established it is. Aside from that, there is only a limited number of Bitcoin in the market, so the probability of having a Bitcoin bubble is less likely to occur.
Nonetheless, just like any other cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is a risky investment compared to stocks and bonds. The price is highly volatile because it is a cryptocurrency, and there are no regulations to keep it in check. Due to this, Bitcoin has usually been associated with scams which results to doubt from some investors.
All things considered, Bitcoin is still a good investment given the mix of the right investment strategy and risk management. As the saying goes, “the higher the risk, the higher the reward.” It’s a gamble like any other investment, but the potential rewards are high. The price of Bitcoin has been on the rise in recent years, and it shows no signs of stopping.
Buying Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia is a relatively simple process. The country is slowly opening up to cryptocurrency, and there are a number of exchanges that serve the Saudi Arabian market. We will list some of the best ones later in this article.
When should you start investing in Bitcoins?
The best time to start investing in Bitcoin is now. In recent years, the price of Bitcoin has risen steadily and shows no indications of slowing down. Investing early can lead you to reap bigger returns in the future.
However, If you are thinking about investing in Bitcoin, make sure that you do your research first. There is a lot to learn about the world of cryptocurrency, and it is important to know what you are getting into before you buy.
How much should you invest in Bitcoin?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it depends on your investment strategies, funds, preferences, and risk tolerance. Make sure to research prior to investing in Bitcoin and only invest money that you’re willing and able to lose. There is no insurance against losses when you invest in Bitcoin, so it is important that you have a great understanding of the risks and rewards involved.
Buying Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia – Step by Step
Now that you know a bit about Bitcoin and its history in Saudi Arabia, let us go into how you can acquire Bitcoin in the country.
- Find a reputable Bitcoin exchange. A few exchanges serve the Saudi Arabian market, but not all of them are created equal. Make sure you do your research so that you get to choose the exchange which suits your needs as an investor.
- Create an account and deposit funds into it. Once you have found a reputable exchange, you can now create your account and deposit funds into it. The specificities of this process will vary from one exchange to the other, but the general idea is the same.
- Buy your first Bitcoin. You can now begin purchasing Bitcoin once you have funds in your account. Again, the specific steps will differ depending on your chosen exchange. However, most exchanges will allow you to buy Bitcoin with a credit or debit card.
- Store in your wallet. Much like how you have a wallet to store your physical money, the same goes with Bitcoin. Once you’ve bought Bitcoin, you can store it in a wallet of your choice. There are many sorts of wallets to select from, so be sure you get one that fits your needs.
How to store your Bitcoin offline safely
- Get a Bitcoin wallet that supports offline storage.
- Make sure you keep your recovery phrase or seed words in a safe place.
- Create a backup of your wallet and store it in a secure location.
- Use a multi-signature wallet if possible.
- Use a hardware wallet for ultimate security.
The Best Bitcoin Exchanges in Saudi Arabia
Picking the right place to buy Bitcoin is important. Some exchanges are better for beginners, while others are better for advanced traders. Make sure to compare the fees, features, and requirements.
If you’re looking to buy Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia, you have several options. Below are some of the best Bitcoin exchanges in the country.
BitOasis is the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) largest, safest, and most liquid digital asset exchange.
This exchange is best for buying large amounts of Bitcoin and buying Bitcoin with SAR. The platform also has low fees.
- Convenience: BitOasis allows you to invest and trade anywhere, anytime, through their mobile app.
- Use of Local Currency: They accept deposits and trades in UAE Dirhams (AED) and Saudi Riyals (SAR).
- Trusted platform in MENA
- Low fees
- Excellent user interface
- Services are offered only to limited countries
- Minimum deposit: 306 SAR
- Withdrawal fee: 0.0005 BTC
- Fiat-Digital Asset Pairs Trading fee: 0.24% / 0.48%
CoinMENA is another great exchange for buying Bitcoin with SAR. Saudi Arabia is one of six countries it supports. You can buy, sell, store, and receive digital assets as well as deposit and withdraw in your local currency using the platform.
- Digital Asset Platform: For optimal security, the majority of their consumers’ digital assets are housed in an offline vault.
- Fast Settlement: CoinMENA guarantees that the majority of trades are settled on the same day.
- User-friendly interface
- Licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain
- Limited coin selections
- Minimum deposit: 37.5 SAR
- Withdrawal fee: 112.96 SAR
- Trading fee: 0.75%
Kraken is best for advanced traders. Users can buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a bank account. With its outstanding service, minimal fees, flexible payment choices, and stringent security standards, Kraken is constantly ranked one of the finest sites to buy and trade cryptocurrency online.
- Security: Kraken has put together a global team of top security professionals who use a risk-based strategy to ensure their clients’ assets are protected to the highest standards.
- 24/7 Support: The support team is available by email at any time to provide a helpful hand, regardless of the issue.
- Funding Options: Their diverse range of crypto and fiat currency funding choices allow you to trade virtually from anywhere in the world.
- Excellent customer support
- Wide range of funding options
- Trusted platform globally
- Limited payment options
- Minimum deposit: 0.0001 BTC
- Withdrawal fee: 0.00001 BTC
- Trading fee: 0.9-1.5%
Users may buy Bitcoin incredibly quickly with Coinmama. You can receive your coins in roughly ten minutes if you pay with a credit or debit card or use online banking.
- Security: Coinmama does not hold your credit card or bank details nor keep any of your coins on hand. Thus, the platform gives you full control over your crypto.
- Payment Options: You may buy and sell cryptocurrencies on Coinmama using various payment options. Buying is available through credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more.
- Fast transactions
- Accepts payments in all currencies
- Regulated platform
- Limited payment methods
- Minimum deposit: 112 SAR
- Withdrawal fee: Free
- Trading fee: 0.99% to 3.90%
Rain is a Category 3 Crypto-Asset Services Provider licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, and one of the countries it services is Saudi Arabia. It allows you to buy, sell, and store Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a secure, compliant, and regulated manner.
- Security: Rain employs bank-grade security and a patented offline cold storage solution to safeguard your digital assets.
- Quick Verification: Rain allows you to sign up and get verified in about three hours.
- Continues to add new coins to their platform
- Easy and fast verification
- Licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain
- Limited country operations
- Minimum deposit: approximately 937 SAR
- Withdrawal fee: depends on bank charges
- Trading fee: none
In addition to cryptocurrency exchanges, peer-to-peer (P2P) trading is another way to buy Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia. These platforms allow you to find people in your area who are willing to sell Bitcoin. You can then negotiate a price and trade directly with the seller.
The advantage of peer-to-peer trading is that you can pay with cash or any other payment method that works for you and the seller. However, it can be riskier than buying from an exchange, as you’re dealing with an individual.
Popular P2P platforms in Saudi Arabia include LocalBitcoins and Paxful.
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace where you can buy Bitcoin using cash or even PayPal in some cases. The fees vary depending on the seller but are generally lower than other exchanges since you’re dealing directly with an individual.
- Competitive fee structure (most services are free)
- Payment channels consider specific regions
- No shortage of buyers and sellers
- Customer support is sometimes slow
- Lack of hard wallet system
Paxful is another P2P marketplace where you can buy Bitcoin using a variety of methods, including cash, PayPal, bank transfer, and even gift cards. Similar to LocalBitcoins, the fees on Paxful are also lower than most exchanges since you’re dealing directly with the seller.
- Accepts several currencies
- No bank account required
- Can buy anonymously
- Crypto savings accounts are only available in Nigeria
- Can only buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that was created in 2009. It’s the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and is used as a payment system as well as an investment asset.
How much does Bitcoin cost in Saudi Arabia?
The price of Bitcoin fluctuates depending on supply and demand. On an exchange like BitOasis, you may check the current price of Bitcoin.
What is the best way to store Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia?
The best way to store Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia is in a wallet that you control. This could be a software wallet on your computer or phone or a hardware wallet.
What are the other options for buying Bitcoin in Saudi Arabia?
If you don’t want to use an exchange, you can also buy Bitcoin directly from other people. There are several peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces that allow you to do this.
Is there a Bitcoin ATM in Saudi Arabia?
Yes, there is a Bitcoin ATM in Saudi Arabia. The ATM is located in Jeddah.