In a tweet from the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory authority , they stated that penalities will be imposed on anyone who tries to conduct crypto asset services in the country and the financial center.
They defined virtual assets are anything “of value that acts as a substitute for currency that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for trading and investment purposes, excluding fiat currencies and other monetary instruments.” The financial center operates with its own legal, regulatory and tax infrastructure and traces its roots back to 2005. The new ban states virtual asset services include the exchange or transfer of virtual assets, or the exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies.
In early 2019 things didnt seem bad for crypto in Qatar, especially stablecoins and tokens. Abbas Ali, Managing Director of Ibadah Inc, announced Idinar, a digital etoken backed up by gold and the first Hybrid digital exchange in Qatar. The announcement came on the opening day of the 5th Doha Islamic Finance Conference. This Idinar was developed by the Qatar FInancial Authority.
Back in 2018, Qatar’s central bank banned bitcoin trading in an effort to “ensure the safety of the financial and banking system,” as reported in The Peninsula, Qatar’s daily newspaper.
Qatar was the one of the first to start implementing blockchain in the banking sector back in 2017 when Qatar Commcercial Bank with Infosys
It should be noted that Qatar has been vocal about developing a FinTech strategy that will bring digital efforts and innovation to financial services. The QFCRA said in September, “under new rules and guidance, the activity of non-regulated Professional Services firms has been widened to FinTech Services Providers which includes … providing cybersecurity solutions, application programming interfaces (API), cloud computing, developing blockchain-based technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and companies which provide a platform for facilitating real-time transaction capability of internet connected devices.”
UNLOCK had previously written an article on how Qatar could use Blockchain for the FIFA Games in 2022