Saudi Arabia Arrests Billionaire Prince - Could Uncertainty Boost Bitcoin?

domainking131

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Political uncertainty in the Middle East has risen to an all-time high, with Saudi Arabia arresting the richest Arab in the world, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Could this result in a shift to Bitcoin, the digital safe haven, in the Middle East?

Saudi Arabia's crackdown
Saudi Arabia has initiated a sweeping crackdown, ostensibly against corruption, today. King Salman has ordered the arrest of senior princes and ousted many senior officials from ministerial roles. The list of people arrested includes Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the richest Arab in the world.

Prince Alwaleed was in the news recently for his negative views on Bitcoin, saying that Bitcoin would face an Enron-like collapse. While the public reason given by King Salman for the arrests is his drive against corruption, many commentators believe that the King could be clearing the route for his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to take over as the King.

Qatar under siege
From early June 2017, Qatar's neighbors - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and UAE have imposed a blockade on the country, accusing the country of harboring Islamic militants and maintaining a relationship with Iran, Saudi Arabia's staunch enemy.

Qatar is a small country in the Middle East, with large natural gas reserves. According to the World Bank, it is the country with the highest per capita GDP based on purchasing power parity ($127.5K in 2016). It will also play host to the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Many believe that the actual reason for Qatar's neighbors imposing a blockade is Qatar's support for Al Jazeera, a news organization which has aired views contrary to the established position in the Middle East. Given the absolute power enjoyed by governments in the Middle East, an independent news channel in the region has raised many hackles.


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