Qatar and Cryptocurrency

Qatar Cryptocurrency Laws
Regulation of Digital Currencies: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, Blockchain Technology

Cryptocurrencies are illegal at an institutional level in Qatar. In February 2018 the Supervision and Control of Financial Institution Division at Qatar’s Central Bank issued a circular to all banks operating in Qatar warning against trading in bitcoin.[1] The circular described bitcoin as illegal and unsupported by any central bank or government. It also stated that trade in cryptocurrencies involves high risks of price volatility and the risk of being used in financial crimes. Finally, the notice prohibited all banks operating in Qatar from dealing with cryptocurrencies, subject to penalties for violators.[2] In January of 2020 the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) announced in a statement that no virtual asset service may be conducted in or from the Qatar Finance Center (QFC). It specified 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.” This announcement was accompanied by a tweet from the QFC Regulatory Authority affirming that “Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC.” [3]  QCB Governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said in an interview[4] that the new executive regulations come within the framework of upholding the provisions of Law No. 20 of 2019[5], replacing Qatar Law No. 4/2010, issuing the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism Law, “and Qatar, thus stresses that combating money laundering and terrorist financing requires a strict and effective regulatory and legislative framework, whereby it determines the powers and responsibilities of each of the government agencies and relevant ministries, in relation to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.”[6]

P.S. Insights on Cryptocurrency Legal Issues

Most jurisdictions and authorities have yet to enact laws governing cryptocurrencies, meaning that, for most countries, the legality of crypto mining remains unclear.

Under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), crypto miners are considered money transmitters, so they may be subject to the laws that govern that activity. In Israel, for instance, crypto mining is treated as a business and is subject to corporate income tax. In India and elsewhere, regulatory uncertainty persists, although Canada and the United States are relatively friendly to crypto mining.

However, apart from jurisdictions that have specifically banned cryptocurrency-related activities, very few countries prohibit crypto mining.

Our Freeman Law Cryptocurrency Law Resource page provides a summary of the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country across the globe with statutory or regulatory provisions governing cryptocurrency.  The globe below provides links to country-by-country summaries:

Podcast:

The Freeman Law Project – Cryptocurrency Regulation and Taxation: A Brief Primer

Is cryptocurrency legal in Qatar?

Do you have questions about cryptocurrency, digital currencies, or blockchain technology?
Freeman Law can help with digital currencies, tax planning, and tax compliance. Contact us now to schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3410 to discuss your cryptocurrency and blockchain technology concerns.


[1] Supervision and Control of Financial Institutions Division, “Trading in Bitcoin”,  Governor Abdullah Bin Saud Al-Thani, http://www.qcb.gov.qa/sitelists/CircularsToBanks/Lists/Circulars/Attachments/173/Circular no. 6-2018.pdf

[2] Id.

[3] https://twitter.com/QFCRA/status/1210149668056915970 *note: the tweet is geo locked.

[4] Gulf Times, “Qatar strict on fighting money laundering, terror financing”, December 27, 2019, https://www.gulf-times.com/story/651837/Qatar-strict-on-fighting-money-laundering-terror-f

[5] Law No. [20] of 2019 on Combatting Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, https://www.qfcra.com/en-us/AML Law and Legislation/Law No. (20) of 2019 on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (1).pdf

[6] Gulf Times, “Qatar strict on fighting money laundering, terror financing”, December 27, 2019, https://www.gulf-times.com/story/651837/Qatar-strict-on-fighting-money-laundering-terror-f

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