The Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) announced that virtual asset services may not be conducted in or from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). The regulator announced the new measure in a tweet that stated that authorized firms would not be permitted to provide or facilitate the provision or exchange of crypto assets and related services until further notice. According to the QFCRA:
“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.”
The Qatar Financial Centre has its own legal, regulatory, tax and business infrastructure that was put in place to attract businesses to the region and promote economic development in the country. The center as attracted over 500 companies that have brought in $20 Billion in combined assets according to its official website. This QFC falls under the QFCRA which defines virtual assets as the exchange between crypto and fiat, crypto and crypto, transfer of crypto assets, safekeeping or administration of virtual assets or tools for their management, and participation in or provision of financial services related to virtual assets.
A December 27 article had it that the country had just adopted a new Anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financial norms. The governor of the Qatari central bank Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani commented;
“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 countries like Switzerland and New Zealand have been so open minded to the idea of digital assets, others such as India have taken a tough stance against them.