The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) said that locals will not be eligible to use virtual assets of any kind (including, but not limited to cryptocurrencies) in 2020.
Officials: Anything of Value Can be Considered as Cryptocurrency
Financial regulators of Qatar didn’t see much positive in the blockchain technology over the past years. This is seen from the intent to ban cryptocurrency usage in the country. But not only cryptocurrencies – the new law will mark as prohibited 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 means that, even if you invent something that is not a blockchain-based system but acts like described above, you also cannot promote or use such software. Gift cards and coupons are something of value that acts as a substitute and works on the Internet. So the law can possibly provoke additional confusion for businesses, in the future.
The ban restricts crypto-to-crypto operations, as well as buying, storing, selling of virtual assets not backed by the government. Per the official sources:
“Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time.”
Any financial services related to cryptocurrencies, including the exchanges, custody or else must stop operations. The citizens cannot possess cryptocurrency on behalf of somebody, administrate or transfer the coins of any kind. This means very bad news for people related to the industry, they will have to either leave their passion or move to another country.
Qatar Sadly Joins the Anti-Crypto League
Strange thing, this period shows that the classic regulatory frameworks not yet ready for the cryptocurrency inception. The lawmakers in countries like Turkey or the United Kingdom make presumptions regarding the cryptocurrency software. However, how many legal people studied the code? If they did, then it would be somewhat clear to the authorities that cryptocurrency trading is a matter of technology, not physical possession.
If someone has golden coins, he possesses a value that you can confiscate. When we talk about cryptocurrencies, it’s a different case: under certain conditions, you cannot confiscate tokens.
Technically, when the wallet is not on a PC, you can store the key in your memory. How will the authorities confiscate thoughts? This is technically impossible. So the cryptocurrency is about technology, it’s about whether you have or don’t have the skills to obtain the coins. If the owner is storing his coins in his memory, there is no way to legally force him to give out the mnemonic seed phrase, for instance.
Jeff Fawkes is a seasoned investment professional and a crypto analyst covering the blockchain space. He has a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing and is passionate when it comes to how technology impacts our society.