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Qatar’s new AML laws leave no room for Cryptocurrencies

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A number of countries across the globe are coming with up stringent policies to inhibit the illegal use of Cryptocurrencies for Money-laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism. Qatar has also joined the league following the adoption of new financial regulations by the Qatar Central Bank that primarily focused on restraining money laundering and terrorist financing, adjusting them in accordance with the regulations set by the global regulatory authority, Financial Action Task Force (FATF). 

To effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing, the new regulation sets out legally binding requirements for businesses, financial institutions, non-profit organizations, and money transfer services. Furthermore, it also imposes harsh penalties including financial sanctions and imprisonment for anyone convicted of violating the law. They have also called out for the widest possible collaboration and exchange of financial information with international countries such as the United States, Australia, China, Pakistan, India, etc for maximum efficacy.

According to Al-Watan, Qatar has also introduced countrywide restrictions regarding the use of Cryptocurrency and other types of digital assets, as an attempt to restrict money laundering and financing of terrorism. The Qatar Financial Center Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) also stated that all processes involving the use of digital currencies have been banned throughout the Qatar Financial Center until further notice. However, other digital financial or monetary instruments, regulated by the QFCRA, the Qatar Central Bank, or the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, are not included in the ban.

Despite the embargo, Qatar is still looking for ways to devise an effective FinTech strategy to inspire innovation in the cloud-based digital payment gateway.