Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has announced that banks are prohibited from dealing in the virtual currency Bitcoin in any form or exchanging it with any other currency, opening bank accounts to deal in it, sending or receiving any money transfers for the purpose of buying or selling that currency.
QCB issued a circular in which it warned against dealing in these currencies, stressing that it will sign the imposed sanctions in accordance with the provisions of the QCB law and the regulation of financial institutions issued by Law No. 13 of 2012 in case of violation of what is mentioned in this circular.
The Central Bank clarified that in order to ensure the safety of the financial and banking system, the working banks in the State must not deal in these currencies, adding that trading in virtual currencies, including the so-called Bitcoin, has recently spread in various countries of the world. According to the Central Bank, the Bitcoin is an illegal currency because there is no commitment by any central bank or government in the world to exchange its value for issued and cleared payment money or for traded commodities or gold.
The Central Bank also stressed that dealing in these currencies is characterised by high risks of fluctuation in value and the possibility of using them in financial crimes and electronic piracy, in addition to the risk of loss of value because there are no guarantors or assets for them.