Qatar Financial Centre Prohibits Cryptocurrency Related Activities
No form of cryptocurrency related services must be offered in or from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), as per an announcement made by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA).
The latest decision was announced by the regulator through a tweet on December 26.
According to the regulator, even authorized institutions are not allowed to facilitate buying, selling or exchange of cryptocurrencies and related services until new update.
The QFCRA has issued the following warning
“The Regulatory Authority shall impose penalties in accordance with its rights and obligations […] in case of any violation of undertaking […] activities that are not permitted in the QFC.”
In Qatar, the business and financial center QFC has its own legislative, regulatory, business and tax framework. It was established to lure enterprises to the country and accelerate economic development.
As per the official website, the center has lured more than 500 firms which together manage assets worth $20 billion. The QFCRA describes crypto asset services as the exchange between crypto and fiat or crypto and crypto, transfer of cryptocurrencies, safekeeping or management of digital assets or software for their handling, and partaking in or offering financial services associated to cryptocurrencies.
The QFC Regulatory Authority affirms that Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC. pic.twitter.com/zBamUzrNi8
— Regulatory Authority (@QFCRA) December 26, 2019
A Qatar based media outlet Al-Watan has stated that the country has implemented fresh Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing rules. In this regard, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani, governor of the Qatari central bank said:
“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.”
While Switzerland and some other countries have turned crypto friendly, there are few countries which consider cryptos as a threat to the monetary independence and have taken a hard stance.
India’s central bank announced a prohibition that bans all financial organizations in the country from offering services to crypto associated business.
Last April, the Indian government supposedly started inter-ministerial discussions on a bill, referred to as the “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019”, to totally prohibit cryptocurrencies. Likewise, China continues to implement a blanket ban on cryptocurrency exchanges since September 2017.