Qatar, a country in the Middle East with a population of 2.5 million people, has reportedly banned cryptocurrency trading and custody services.

The Qatari Financial Services Regulator, the Qatar Financial Center, has according to a report published by International Investment issued a statement making it clear that “Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time.”

The ban reportedly includes fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading, as well as other financial services related to cryptocurrencies, such as custody. The regulator went as far as saying the ban hit “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.”

The Qatari regulator hasn’t released any statements regarding the ban, and as such it’s currently unclear why the country banned cryptocurrencies. It notably comes at a time in which other nations in the region are seemingly opening up to the crypto space.

As CryptoGlobe reported, the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has during an Islamic conference in Malaysia proposed the creation of a cryptocurrency for Muslim nations as an alternative to the U.S. dollar. He said:

The Muslim world should be designing measures to save themselves from the domination of the United States dollar and the American financial regime.

Qatar was one of the attendants at the conference, in which Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out Muslin countries should focus on Islamic Financing and suggested the creation of a working group to look into it.

Notably, according to local news outlets Qatar’s central bank has, back in 2018, said bitcoin trading is illegal in the country as the cryptocurrency “is highly volatile and can be used for financial crimes and electronic hacking.” The institutions added there are no guarantees when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Featured image via Pixabay.