A blanket ban on Cryptocurrency Business in Qatar by the Financial Centre

From now on virtual asset services that is cryptocurrency services may not be conducted in or from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). The news has been recently announced by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) in a tweet published on Dec 26.

The regulator in the new measure stated that authorized firms are not permitted to provide or facilitate the provision or exchange of crypto assets and related services until further notice. Below is the quotation from QFCRA:

“The Regulatory Authority shall impose penalties in accordance with its rights and obligations […] activities that are not permitted in the QFC.”

A business and financial center, the QFC has its own legal, regulatory, tax and business infrastructure in Qatar which was created in order to attract business to the area and promote economic development throughout the country.

According to a source, the Financial Center has attracted over 500 firms with $20 billion in combined total assets under management.


A broader definition of virtual assets by the QFCRA

The virtual asset services as the QFCRA defines it is the exchange between crypto and fiat or crypto and crypto, transfer of crypto assets, safekeeping or administration of virtual assets or tools for their management, and participation in or provision of financial services related to virtual assets.

According to an article published by local media outlet Al-Watan, the country has just adopted new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing norms.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani, the governor of the Qatar central bank while commenting on the subject said that,

“The State of Qatar affirms that fighting money laundering and terrorist financing requires a strict and effective regulatory and legislative framework, whereby the powers and responsibilities of both government agencies and relevant ministries are defined in relation to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

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