Saudi Arabia’s Trillion Dollar City: Crypto Legalisation Incoming!?

Earlier this year Saudi Arabia's largest Oil Company Saudi aramco temporarily Flipped Apple to become the most Valuable company in the world Saudi Aramco currently sits in second place Now this makes sense considering that Saudi Arabia is estimated to have over 34 trillion dollars of oil reserves it's Safe to say that the country is planning On spending this capital on lots of Big Shiny stuff So today I'm going to tell you about Saudi Arabia's crypto interests examine How they relate to the country's Ambitious neon project and see whether Crypto could play a role in its rollout Foreign I want to start by saying that this Video was inspired by all the crypto Memes on Twitter about Saudi Arabian Shakes Max bidding BTC on Leverage Regardless of the outcome because they Have infinite resources to spend In all seriousness there is a compelling Case to be made for Saudis loading up on Cryptocurrencies For starters Saudi Arabia seems to be Itching to break away from the United States this is evidenced by its Intention to join the emerging economies Of the brics Brazil Russia India China And South Africa Breaking away from the United States Will inevitably involve ditching the US

Dollar for international trade This is why the brics countries are Working on a new Reserve currency backed By their National currencies it's quite Possible that a cryptocurrency like BTC Could become a part of this currency Basket note that even the IMF knows this Is possible more about that in the Description Now another reason why Saudi Arabians Could start loading up on cryptocurrency Has to do with the Saudi royal family The house of Saud has over 15 000 Members with a collective net worth Estimated to be over 1.4 trillion US Dollars Some Saudi royals are known for their Lavish Lifestyles most notably Muhammad Bin Salman the Crown Prince and de facto King of Saudi Arabia if he or another High-profile Saudi Royal suddenly Decided to start buying cryptocurrency Well you can bet the rally would make Kings and queens of us all There's only one problem and that's that The legal status of cryptocurrency in Saudi Arabia isn't entirely clear This is because Saudi Arabia's legal System is based on the teachings of Islam which like many other religions Sees gambling as a sin to be blunt There's no shortage of cryptocurrencies That aren't all that different from Poker chips at a casino

This isn't true of established Cryptocurrencies like BTC and eth but Their High volatility creates a similar Risk reward profile to gambling this is Why some Islamic countries have banned Crypto it's also why Saudi Regulators Banned Banks from processing Transactions relating to cryptocurrency Back in 2018. to my knowledge it's still Possible to buy crypto in Saudi Arabia But it requires elaborate workarounds I Reckon most Saudi citizens and Royals Aren't all that eager to test the Legality of the asset class either The good news is that the Saudi Central Bank recently hired a former Accenture Director who will reportedly be helping The country draft Common Sense crypto Regulations This is simply because the Saudis can See that other Gulf countries are Becoming hot spots for crypto namely the UAE Now Saudi Arabia's sudden interest in Cryptocurrency relates to the neon Project As a matter of fact neom could actually Provide the regulatory framework Required for crypto to flourish within The country but I'll come back to that Later first a bit of background In the spring of 2016 Muhammad bin Salman or MBS as he's often called Announced the Saudi Vision 2030

Initiative The purpose of the initiative is to Diversify the country's economy away From oil make improvements to its public Sector and infrastructure and introduce Progressive social policies MBS Explained in a 2021 interview that he Wants to move the country's economy away From oil because he's hyper aware that The oil boom will not last he believes That the global demand for oil will Peak Around 2030. hence why he's hoping to Restructure the country's economy and Society by that time This makes me wonder whether MBs is Aware of the demographic trends that Elon Musk and others have been warning About if you watched our video about Population decline you'll know that the Global population could Peak as soon as The early 2040s which is not that far Off from mbs's 2030 date for peak oil Logically if there are fewer people Around then the demand for oil will be Much lower if demand Falls while more Supply is coming then oil prices will Fall it's basic economics obviously this Would hit Saudi Arabia and other top oil Producing countries and companies the Hardest this is why many suspect that The organization of the petroleum Exporting countries or OPEC is purposely Restricting oil supply a restriction in Supply will cause prices to rise and

It's this restriction in Supply that Caused Saudi aramco to briefly become The world's largest company earlier this Year There are also geopolitical reasons for OPEC to restrict oil supply but let's Not go there Now as you might have guessed neom is Part of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative In fact it's one of over a dozen Projects that will collectively cost More than one trillion dollars neom is By far the most expensive one of them All as it will cost an estimated 500 Billion dollars this is because neon Will be a mega City consisting of Multiple regions on the country's West Coast the first region is Neon Bay which Is basically meant to be the main hub For anyone arriving to the city via the Neon Bay airport the airport was Finished in 2019 but the Hub is still Being built The second region is the neom industrial City also known as the octagon Naturally the city is shaped like an Octagon with half of it floating on the Water and the other half being on land If the name didn't give it away octagon Will be the shipping and Manufacturing Hub of neon and it's also still being Built The third region is called trojana and It was announced by MBS earlier this

Year Trojana will be a sort of tourist hot Spot in the nearby mountains which will Include an observatory a Wildlife Reserve and year-round outdoor skiing That's right year-round outdoor skiing In the Middle East Trojania is scheduled to be ready for Tourists by 2026. let's see how that Goes Anyway as far as I can tell the only Reason why trojana hasn't received much Press is because neom's fourth region is Somehow even crazier I am of course Referring to the line a city that is 500 Meters tall 200 meters wide and 170 Kilometers long Did I mention that the outside will be Covered in mirrors Now MBS announced the line in January 2021 and I recommend watching his Presentation when you have the time That's because nbs's primary motivation For creating the line appears to be his Hatred of traffic which would make sense Given that traffic is really the only Thing that rich people can't avoid I Mean you've still got to get from the Private jet to the Palace right and I Can't really over stress just how much MBS seems to hate traffic In his presentation about the line he Talks about how unacceptable it is that Commuting times will double by 2050 and

Literally considers people sitting in Traffic to be just as bad as people Dying from pollution I suppose if you Wind the windows down while queuing for The turn off you could probably achieve Both Anyways according to MBS the line is the Solution to our post-industrial Urban Traffic hellscapes there will be zero Streets zero cars zero emissions and Everything you need will be a five Minute walk away In addition the city will be 95 Self-sustainable run entirely on Renewable energy and take you across in 20 minutes by train This will all be possible thanks to the Three layers of the line The bottom layer will be called The Spine and it will house the city's Transportation including the ultra High-speed train and Freight operations That is moving Goods around the city The middle layer will be the service Layer and it will contain things like Grocery stores barber shops retail Outlets soulless franchise coffee shops And other such services The top layer will be The Pedestrian Layer which will feature walkways Forests Gardens Etc as well as housing Which will extend up the sides of the Massive walls now although MBS initially Said that the city would house one

Million people this figure was recently Increased to 9 million for reasons that I don't quite understand it's also not Entirely clear how the city will handle Things like ventilation and lighting Especially for those living on the lower Levels this hasn't stopped the project From going ahead however recent Drone Footage reveals that construction on the City's spine layer is underway some say That the trench being dug is not wide Enough given the scale of the city but I Guess we'll see what it looks like in a Few months time While the first phase of development is Expected to finish by 2030 the line Isn't expected to be complete until 2050. now the cost of building the line Could be as high as one trillion dollars This would bring the total cost of the Neon project to a whopping 1.5 trillion Assuming the other projects are within Budget Now what's interesting about neon is That the region will apparently have its Own governing body called the neon Authority which will introduce a legal And tax system that is separate from the Rest of Saudi Arabia this means that Crypto could very well play a role in The rollout of this Mega project What's concerning is that any role Crypto would play would probably not be Very crypto so to speak that's because

The different regions of neon will be Heavily digitized especially the line This Means digital ID facial recognition And even artificial intelligence that Determines what you can do and where you Can do it as explained in an amazing Article by Bloomberg neom will also have A quote digital border with the outside World meaning only those who are Authorized will be allowed to enter or Exit It's also not clear whether the members Of the neon Authority will be Democratically elected If all that wasn't scary enough the Concept of a linear city was first Proposed by an Italian architectural Collective called super Studio Super Studios so-called continuous Monument was meant to be a critique of The future arrangement of heavily Industrialized cities not a template for A humanist one in Bloomberg's words Quote one of superstudio's last Surviving members when asked about the Line by the New York Times dryly noted That seeing the dystopias of your own Imagination being created is not the Best thing you could wish for Now if you're wondering where exactly All the money to build neom's regions is Coming from the answer is Saudi Arabia's Public investment fund or pif The neon project is technically owned by

The pif which is in turn operated by MBS Via the Council of Economic and Development affairs if you're wondering Where the pifs money comes from the Answer is Saudi aramco which is also Operated by MBS via the Saudi aramco Supreme Council it was NBS who decided To take the company public in 2019 Selling just 1.5 percent of shares in The otherwise state-owned company for 26 Billion USD This 26 billion USD went to the pif Along with four percent of Saudi aramco Stock currently worth roughly 100 Billion USD this is a nice chunk of the 600 or so billion dollars of assets on The pif's balance sheet which MBS Believes will grow to 7 trillion by 2030. this assumes that the money Currently in the pif won't all be spent On neon which would be likely were it Not for the fact that the project is Actively looking for outside investment Whether neon will get to the outside Investment it's looking for is Questionable given Saudi Arabia's Alignment with the brics countries That said nbs's alignment with the Global Elite on issues like climate Change could be enough to inspire the Investment neon needs rumor has it that The world economic forum is a fan of Mbs's plans all it would take is for a Few of the wefts so-called stakeholders

To be on board and the project would be Fully funded The thing is that money doesn't seem to Be the primary concern in relation to Neon's success the real concern seems to Be the management of the project from Top to bottom At the top MBS has constantly been Changing his ideas about what neon Should look like and what elements it Should include At the bottom there has reportedly been Lots of attrition of the boots on the Ground specifically all the academics And Engineers the Saudi government has Been flying in to work on Neon the Aforementioned Bloomberg article notes That the average neom employee lasts Less than a year this is in part because Of bad management from the upper levels And in part due to the unbelievably Lucrative salaries many of these people Are being paid This begs the question of whether some Of the folks working on neon are selling MBS a pipe dream in order to get rich Quick off Saudi oil money One thing is for sure though and that's The critics of neom haven't always fared Too well the most famous case involves The murder of Saudi journalist and Critic Jamal khashoggi who was Vehemently against the construction of Neon

He claimed the project could potentially Bankrupt the country due to its Unprecedented scope And there's also the issue of Optics Neom claims to be carbon neutral powered By renewable energy and all that jazz But many Engineers have pointed out that Building the city structures will emit An astronomical amount of carbon never Mind all the disruptions to the local Environment I mean what effects do you think are 170 Kilometer long 200 meter wide mirror in The middle of the desert is going to Have It's believed that any object that comes Too close to the outside of the line Will burn up or melt this makes the Restrictions around entering and exiting The city that much more terrifying if All that wasn't bad enough neom has also Reportedly displaced many of the native Peoples of the region where it's being Built and those who resisted were Initially imprisoned or killed The Saudi government has subsequently Started offering residents of these Regions large sums of money to leave Now it's important to point out that the Possibility of your property being taken By the government is not something Unique to Saudi Arabia or other Authoritarian countries as I mentioned In our video about why you will own

Nothing and be happy even democracies Like the United States can claim your Land it's called eminent domain look it Up now does all this mean that Neon Won't ever be finished well not Necessarily I happen to subscribe to the perspective That Neon will be completed but the Final product will be a lot less Ludicrous than what's currently being Proposed then again neon may become Everything it's promised to be and more After King Salman bin Abdul Aziz passes Away that's because NBS will then have Total control of Saudi Arabia when he Becomes king that will make it possible For him to align the government's Branches to ensure his dream becomes a Reality let's just hope mbs's dream Doesn't end up being a nightmare for Everyone else to wrap things up I want To give you a few of my thoughts about Saudi Arabia's insane City My first thought is that Saudi Arabia's Ambitious projects are only possible Because the country has the power to Print U.S dollars This is because all energy is paid for In US Dollars and Saudi Arabia can print Oil so to speak As such the Saudi government and the Royal family that runs it can shape the World in its image This can be a blessing or a curse

Depending on who has the power to wield The country's black liquid money printer In this case it looks like it's both Now I've never met Muhammad bin Salman But my impression is that he's a mostly Well-meaning person who grew up Surrounded by too many yes men and can't Stand hearing no as an adult This has been bad news for anyone Standing between him and his ideology Including members of his own family However it has been good news for Everyone his ideology seeks to help An easy example here is Saudi Arabian Women who are finally allowed to drive In 2018 thanks to MBS He's also been obsessed with improving The quality of life for all Saudi Citizens or rather those closest to Riyadh these are objectively good things And MBS has made some serious progress In making Saudi Arabia a more open and Modern country whether the positives Outweigh the negatives is Up For Debate But one could argue that the positives Do outweigh the negatives if MBs is Behind the country's crypto push That's because Saudi citizens getting Access to cryptocurrency means they will Have a way of protecting their property And purchasing power from the government Regardless of their overall ruler this Is something that will not be easily Undone once crypto adoption has achieved

Critical mass in the country More importantly access to Cryptocurrency would eventually give Saudi citizens the power to organize Through decentralized autonomous Organizations and the like The ability to resist the state in such A way will become ever more valuable as Saudi Arabia and others Rush towards Top-down digitization But again will all these benefits be Worth the baggage that comes with them Well I suppose history will be the judge Of that One thing is for sure though and that's That Saudi Arabia will soon be opening Its doors to cryptocurrency and it comes At a time when the country is investing Heavily in Tech this will be a very Bullish Catalyst for cryptocurrency and It might just be the one that brings us Out of the crypto bear Market [Music]


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