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Qatar imposes ban on crypto asset services

Image: QFCRA

Mon, 06 Jan 2020, 11:41 am UTC

The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) last month announced that virtual asset services may not be carried out in or from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).

As per the official announcement shared by the regulator via a tweet, all authorized firms are “not currently permitted to provide and/or facilitate the provision of Virtual Asset Services or otherwise exchange, trade or deal in Virtual Assets, until further notice.”

“The Regulatory Authority shall impose penalties in accordance with its rights and obligations ... in case of any violation of undertaking permitted activities that are not permitted in the QFC,” the regulator said.

Established in 2005, QFCRA is an independent regulator of the QFC, responsible for authorizing and regulating firms and individuals conducting financial services in or from the QFC. It was founded to attract international banking, insurance business and other financial services in order to grow and develop the financial services sector in Qatar and the region.

Citing a report from local media outlet Al-Watan, Cointelegraph reported that Qatar just implemented new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing norms.

“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,” said Qatari central bank Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani.

While some countries, such as Japan and Switzerland, are known to be bitcoin-friendly, others, including the likes of China and India are averse to this emerging new asset class. China banned initial coin offering (ICO) activities in 2017 followed by a ban on domestic crypto exchanges, while India also seems to have initiated its steps to ban cryptocurrencies in the country.

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