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Qatar bans crypto-trading; QFCRA-regulated digital securities still legal

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According to a report, Qatar’s financial watchdog, the Qatar Financial Centre [QFC] Regulatory Authority, has prohibited trading in cryptocurrencies, adding that the ban has been imposed on “anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes.”

The aforementioned report claimed that Qatar’s regulatory authority released a comment regarding the same, stating,

“Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time.”

According to the same, virtual asset services prohibition in the country now purportedly encompasses conversions between fiat currency and virtual assets and crypto to crypto trading, while clamping down on cryptocurrency exchanges facilitating trading, storage, and issuance of these assets and any financial platform engaging in and offering financial services related to virtual assets.

However, digital forms of securities or any other financial instrument under the purview of the QFCRA, the Qatar Central Bank, or the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, will still be allowed.

That being said, an official statement by Qatar’s QFCR is yet to be released.

Source: Arab Digest | Countries in brown: absolute ban on cryptocurrencies. Countries in blue: implicit ban on cryptocurrencies.

Arab countries have always been cautious with respect to their response to the emergence of new financial technologies like cryptocurrencies, highlighting concerns related to price volatility, money laundering, and terrorism financing. In fact, there is an outright ban in countries like Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, and Libya. Further, Kuwait‘s Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have previously stated that they do not recognise Bitcoin.

The UAE, however, despite its restrictions, continues to be one of the most crypto-friendly countries globally and one of the most advanced in the Arab world.

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Chayanika is a full-time cryptocurrency journalist at AMBCrypto. A graduate in Political Science and Journalism, her writing is centered around regulation and policy-making regarding the cryptocurrency sector.
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