As the new year begins, Qatar’s Financial Center, the nation’s regulatory authority, has issued a blanket ban on cryptocurrency-related services in the Gulf nation. The prohibition covers not only cryptocurrencies but “anything of value” that could substitute fiat currencies.
Per the report, the authority stated that:
“Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time.” It also reads that this goes for “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.”
However, it’s also worth noting that the ban doesn’t cover digital forms of securities or other financial instruments that are thoroughly regulated by the Regulatory Authority, as well as the other governing bodies, including the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, and the Qatar Central Bank.
According to the report, companies that deal with cryptocurrencies have been shutting down because of the particularly strict anti-money laundering regulations.
Qatar is not the only country to tighten its stance on cryptocurrencies. Cryptopotato recently reported that companies who deal with cryptocurrencies and related services in the European Union will have to comply with the new directive that comes into effect on January 10th.
The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) will require stricter Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and AML procedures, as well as monitoring of all transactions.
Among some of the important changes is that companies dealing with cryptocurrencies will have to conduct their very own KYC checks according to the new set of rules. All of the transactions will also be monitored, while corporations will have to file SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) with law-enforcement authorities.
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”