Some Bitcoin nodes are still operational in the country, this is due to the complexities for their identification and their difficult total disconnection
Officially, the government of Qatar has banned cryptocurrencies in the country, as well as their variants. The announcement was made by one of the most important financial authorities in the country, the Regulatory Authority of the Financial Center of Qatar (QFC), which clarified, besides, that “all digital asset services” must be closed and prevent their operation within the territory. Despite these announcements, there is some Bitcoin (BTC) nodes that continue working.
The sudden and firm decision of the ban is due to the effects produced by the recent attack made by the US government to Iran, where Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed. The measure seeks to prevent the instability of markets such as that of cryptocurrencies significantly “affecting” certain economic and necessary aspects for the country and region.
The position of the government of Qatar on cryptocurrencies has always been complicated and strong. In this way, it is not a big surprise that the authorities took such an extreme measure, even as part of the tensions that the Middle East now faces a possible war.
Qatar had already imposed a ban on banks operating in the country; businesses are not allowed conducting commercial transactions with crypto assets. However, this time, the recent measure covers a wide range, covering even peer transactions using cash or other commercial assets.
It was known that the central objective of the measure is to avoid using digital money to conduct transactions and stop any assets that may be transferable. Hence, they said that the intention is to “block anything of value that acts as a substitute for the currency, which can be traded or digitally transferable, and that can be used for purposes such as payment or investment”.
The scope of this prohibition will prevent users of the country from using a wallet, or transferring any cryptocurrency or digital asset to any person, being in the territory or anywhere in the world.
According to data collected by geopolitics studies in countries of conflict, it was determined that the use of cryptocurrencies increases once there are economic or military difficulties in the countries and the region. This was verified in Syria when conflicts caused cryptocurrency transactions to increase in Turkey or in Venezuela; a South American country that is in a deep political and social crisis for some years.
Although the ban is definitive until now, some Bitcoin nodes are still operating in the country. A website operating in Qatar published in a report that there are two sites responsible for making transactions with cryptocurrencies that are hidden and that are difficult to track and block.
This measure would prevent a lack of control over the cryptocurrency market in the country, as well as dangerous fluctuations for the region’s economy. According to some reports, the price of the BTC in Qatar reached the exorbitant price of 24 thousand dollars, after the death of General Soleimani.
By María Rodríguez