The Japanese cryptocurrency banking conglomerate SBI Holdings has stated it is seeking a relationship with Saudi Aramco (SAOC), the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, following the signing of a fundamental agreement for a business partnership.
In fact, a report released on December 11 states that this alliance anticipates co-investing in each other’s digital asset portfolios as well as developing projects together, like building semiconductor factories on Saudi Arabian and Japanese territory.
The cooperation would specifically focus on three areas: finding and supporting Japanese cryptocurrency startups that are interested in expanding to Saudi Arabia; cooperating and making joint investments in the cryptocurrency space; and initiating semiconductor-related projects, like building factories in both countries.
As it happens, SBI has been pushing hard for projects in the Middle East, especially when it comes to forming investment funds with regional partners. In order to do this, efforts are also underway to open “SBI Middle East” in Riyadh, which will aid in the promotion of Japanese cryptocurrency firms in Saudi Arabia.
Apart from considering a collaboration with Saudi Aramco for semiconductor manufacturing endeavors, SBI has partnered with Taiwanese chip manufacturer Powerchip Technology Corporation to establish a plant in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture.
Crypto and Saudi Arabia
According to an annual report released earlier this year, Saudi Arabia, which is aiming to become a major cryptocurrency hub in the Middle East, topped the relevant charts between July 2022 and June 2023 and was ranked as the nation with the highest growth volume of crypto transactions over a 12-month period.
Compared to the same time in 2021–2022, the kingdom had a notable global lead in year-over-year (YoY) growth in cryptocurrency transaction volume, reaching approximately $31 billion from July 2022 through June 2023. Spain with 6.9%, Nigeria with 9%, and Vietnam with 11.6% were its runners-up.
Furthermore, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been recognized in Chainalysis’ annual report for 2019 as having the sixth-largest crypto economy globally, valued at $390 billion between July 2022 and June 2023. This puts MENA behind leading regions such as North America and Western Europe.
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