Qatar Signals Hostility To Virtual Assets And Crypto Services

Qatar has just fired a shot across the bow of crypto businesses, with the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) announcing an outright ban.

The ban covers all virtual asset services conducted in or from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) – a major business and financial centre that has its own legal, regulatory, tax and business infrastructure and is said to be home to over 500 firms managing than $20 billion in assets.

In a statement the QFCRA said the ban includes all virtual assets services including exchanges between crypto and fiat or crypto and crypto, the transfer of virtual assets, and the safekeeping of such assets, or the provision of tools for their management.

The move follows the adoption of new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulations, and puts the small Middle Eastern state at odds with other regional centres like the UAE and Bahrain who are taking a much more pro-fintech approach.

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