Qatar, the Middle East country with a population of over 2.5 million, is said to have banned cryptocurrency trading.
According to a recent report from the news outlet International Investment, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Regulatory Authority has said that “Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time.”
The services include fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading, custody, and financial services related to virtual assets, per the report.
Specifically, the regulator has said that the ban includes “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.”
It is not clear why the QFCRA has taken this move. The Block has reached out to the regulator for comments and will update this story if we hear back.
In 2018, Qatar’s central bank said that bitcoin trading in illegal in the country. “This cryptocurrency is highly volatile and can be used for financial crimes and electronic hacking as well as risk loss of value because there are no guarantors or assets,” it said at the time.