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We are excited to share the latest edition of the Law Update, beautifully and appropriately titled “Sustainable Horizons: The Saudi Arabian Vision.” Giving special honor to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, this update focuses on a collection of both informative and inspiring articles.
For those in construction, you can learn about how the tendering environment impacts risk-pricing for contractors, the updates on the legal framework of the construction industry and how contractors can protect themselves against financial difficulties.
There is good news too from the kingdom’s banking sector, from which the practice of “Open Banking” is being pushed for! But what is open banking? We’re answering that too.
Also . . . Are there any women trail blazers in Saudi Arabia you can name? We’ll help you with that. We cover how the Middle East has been making strides in empowering women in the entrepreneurial space,most notably in STEM fields.Read the full edition
The Qatar Central Bank (the “QCB”) has issued a general warning published on its website regarding trading of, or dealing in, virtual assets and currencies or tools that control them. The warning has been issued in response to news published on social media regarding offering of unlicensed financial services in Qatar by unlicensed financial institutions, in particular in respect of virtual assets trading platform. The QCB has previously issued two circulars (discussed below) setting out its stance relating to virtual assets and services in Qatar
The warning issued by the QCB is in line with, and reiterates, its decisions issued under Circular No. 6 of 2018 relating to trading in bitcoins (“QCB 2018 Circular”) and Circular No. 46 of 2019 relating to Virtual Assets and Virtual Assets Service Providers (“QCB 2019 Circular”). Under the QCB 2018 Circular and QCB 2019 Circular, the QCB declared that:
The QCB considers these are not issued against liability from a central bank or a government for exchange of its value in return of issued currency, or clearing liability, or global commodity, or gold and involves high risks such as major value fluctuation (volatility), risk of being used in financial crimes or cybercrimes.
According to the QCB 2019 Circular, a “Virtual Asset” includes 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, excluding fiat currencies and other monetary instruments. Additionally, “Virtual Asset Services” includes one or more of the following activities or operations:
In its warning, the QCB has stated that it will take legal acting against any provider of virtual assets and services without obtaining a license.
The Banking & Finance team at Al Tamimi & Company, Qatar is well placed to advise clients on the QCB laws and regulations and the offering of financial services and activities in Qatar.
If you require further information or advice, please feel free to contact us.
Partner, Head of Office, Head of Banking & Finance - Qatarm.email@example.com
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